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The Porticoes of Bologna

Bologna (BO)

Date of last update: 09/05/2016, 17:32

Porticoes: a 40-km-long embrace

The nearly 40-km-long  porticoes make the city of Bologna unique in the world and have been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since 1100, when the growth of the University led to create new spaces for urban development, Bologna's porticoes have become a place that is public and private at the same time and that performs both a social and business function: in a word, they have become a symbol of hospitality in Bologna.


With more than 600 arches and a length covering 3,796 meters , the portico of San Luca  links the town  to the Sanctuary on the top of the Colle della Guardia. Walking up to the Sanctuary is a tradion if a prayer has been granted (for life-saving events, such as recoveries, but also for happy ending love stories or passed university exams). In the past, it was common practice to climb the hill on one's knees while praying; nowadays people are used to reaching the top of the hill doing some jogging or, more easily, taking a tourist train.


History, traditions, town planning and architecture: the porticoes of Bologna are all that.