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.