Everything in Lecce and in Salento was created with Lecce limestone, the one material that suited to the Baroque decorations. Lecce limestone is very soft and easy to work, and has an extraordinary capacity to increase its hardness and resistance with the passing of time. It is a calcareous rock that can be traced back to the Miocene period; it varies in colour from white to amber. Today, traditional stonecutting techniques have been partially replaced by modern machinery, even if there are still local craftsmen capable of chiselling the stone by hand.
Among the local artisan activities, the papier-mâché (cartapesta) handicraft has a very important role producing very beautiful items. In the 17th century, the intense trade between Venice's Republic and merchants from Salento, determined the development in Lecce of the art of "cartapesta" as was locally called the papier maché. It is paper macerated in a solution of water and flour glue. The mass is then pressed to remove excess water and mixed with a solution of animal glue, pasta starch and resin. Then the work is left to slowly dry and then hot irons tools are used to mark the folds and the expressive details.