About 3.5 km outside the city center, Basilica Santuario della Madonna di San Luca (or San Luca, for short) overlooks Bologna from the surrounding hills. Living in Bologna without a car, the hike to San Luca is as close as we can get to an actual hike in nature. This may make you think that this was an easy hike, but as someone who has been thoroughly enjoying Bologna to the fullest (meaning, eating much pasta and gelato) this was anything but easy.
The 18th-century sanctuary is connected to the city walls by 666 arches – the world’s longest portico. After many breaks, we made it to the top of the hill to enjoy a nice view of the city and surrounding hills, but probably the most beautiful view was the red-hued San Luca illuminated by the setting sun.