Erected in the Baroque style by Carlo Francesco Dotti in 1741, this church is perched on top of a hill overlooking the city ... More
Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca
Erected in the Baroque style by Carlo Francesco Dotti in 1741, this church is perched on top of a hill overlooking the city of Bologna. Energetic tourists and ambitious joggers make the trek of just over three and a half kilometers (two miles) up to the majestic Santuario up the long portico lined with 666 arches leading from Porta Saragozza to the sanctuary on Colle della Guardia. Built in honor of an image of the Madonna, the edifice is beautiful, both for its architecture and its exclusive view. Each May the citizens of Bologna carry the figure of the Madonna around the city in procession. People travel from all over the world to take part; it is said that doing so is of great spiritual benefit.
The walk from the base of the hill at Meloncello bus stop was very long, thank goodness i've been going to the gym alot. Today was the first real day of spring in Bologna so it was very refreshing to get some outdoor activity. The sanctuary was lovely: baroque is baroque. The views up-top were what made me thrilled to have burned 3k calories. I actually saw the snow covered peaks of the Apennines. Walking down outside of the porticos seemed to make the decent mush faster. okay'ish views of Bologna. 2.25 hrs roundtrip (30year old athletic guy). There is a bus that comes every now and then if you cant make it up or down.
Walking under all 666 Porticos in a little less than an hour lets you see all of Bologna in its beauty. By the time you reach the San Luca front doors, your heart has been pounding and your eyes have taken in much of Bologna. Both the center of the City along with its long standing towers and the rolling hills that grace the ourskirts will be yours along this wonderful walk.
The longest set of porticos in the world lead up the hill to this church where a miraculous painting of the Vergin (originally attributed to St. Luke, hence the name) hangs over the altar. The icon has several miracles attributed to it, the most famous being when flood waters receeded when it was brought down to Bologna. Now every year the icon comes down to the city for a week. Walking up the hill, praying the rosary and taking Mass at the santuary is a wonderful experience. Also, the views of Bologna are not to be missed.
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