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A DEPARTURE POINT FOR VISITING ITALY

Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca

Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca

Traditionally, pilgrims have traveled to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca on foot.

Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca

Located on a hill called Colle della Guardia, this is the city's incomparable sanctuary.

Visitors access it by means of the world's longest arcade, built by Francesco Dotti. It is connected to the city center by a road that starts in Porta Saragozza and winds through an arcade stretching for about four kilometers along which there are 666 arches and 15 chapels.

Each year since 1433, a procession has traveled the length of the arcade from the sanctuary to San Petronio, bearing the Byzantine icon of the Virgin and Child preserved in its main altar and attributed to Luke the Evangelist: the road that meanders down from Colle della Guardia represents the devil crushed by the Virgin as she descends from the sanctuary. Built in the Baroque style, the church's interior is characterized by an elliptical plan into which a Greek cross has been inserted.

The sanctuary affords a wonderful view over the surrounding landscape: from its panoramic terrace, at about 42 meters above Colle della Guardia, one can take in a unique 180-degree view of Bologna from the hills to the center and Casalecchio di Reno.