What to see in Bologna: San Luca

After exploring the city and its most iconic places, such a The Two Towers and Piazza Maggiore, we can have a walk outside the walls.

We get to Porta Saragozza, where you can find the longest portico in the world ( 3.796 meters) that connect the city to the Sanctuary of San Luca. 

The original legends recount that the spring in 400 was so rainy that people in Bologna entrusted themselves to Queen Mary, bringing the icon of Madonna and Child, kept in Custody in the Sanctuary. As soon the icon has entered into city the rain stopped. From that episode on, every year the parade is repited, starting from the Sanctuary until the city, and the more the year passed by, from 1674 to 1721, it has been decided to build a portico to protect the worshippers from the rain during the parade.

The Portico contains totally 666 arches, not by chance the devil’s number: the longest portico in the world would in fact represent the snake, the evil, that gets eclipsed by the beauty and the strenght of the Sanctuary, and the Madonna. 

The Sanctuary of San Luca, whose dominant style is baroque, is set up on top of Colle della Guardia (approximately 300 metres high) it is dedicated to the Catholic Marian movement. You can already notice its profile when you are in proximity to Bologna, when one is still traveling on the highway. For the people from Bologna is in fact a reference point, it is the awareness to already be at home. 

What to see in Bologna: Finestrella di Via Piella

Let’s continue our trip at the discovery of the marvelous spots of Bologna, with a small curiosity.

Walking along Via Indipendenza, before the crossing over with Via Marsala, we get to the portico of Via Piella. 

On the right we find a small window that opens up on a unexpected Bologna, the one with the where its water flow underground, which -up until two centuries
ago- they were uncovered channels.
Looking through the small window the channel that flows between the coloured windows, enables one to live in a Venetian foreshortening.

The channel is the continuum of one of the main channels in Bologna, the Reno channel, at the entrance the city splits in two branches: the Cavaticcio’s channel and Moline’s channel.

In the medieval Bologna the channels were very important for communications and some of them were also navigable.

The Moline Channel at the time was utilised to produce the necessary energy to plump 15 water mills.

From the beginning of Nineteenth Century and the Post war Period most of the channels got buried: the small window gives us an idea of the ancient Bologna.

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