The Museum of Beata Vergine di San Luca was created to spread and give prominence to the devotional, historic, artistic and cultural heritage linked to the Image of Madonna con il Bambino di San Luca, kept in the sanctuary located on Colle della Guardia (one of the Bolognese hills). The collection of Mr Antonio Brighetti dedicated to Madonna di San Luca represents the core of the museum and it was completed with objects belonging to the sanctuary or to private citizens, and with reproductions once belonging to other cultural city institutes. The building now hosting the museum in Porta Saragozza, used to be part of the third circle of the 14th century city walls. In 1858, the whole structure was totally restored and given neomedieval style to make the entrance of the Virgin Mary more solemn. The northern side of the door was renovated when also the new museum of Beata Vergine di San Luca was built.
The Museum is now divided into 5 levels, and a basement where the wardrobe and the depository may be found. The first room, known as Sala Didattica, welcomes visitors and from Room 1 to 5 the whole exhibition itinerary may be seen, it includes: information about the history of the transportation of Madonna di San Luca in Bologna, sections about the history of the sanctuary and the first arrival of the Image of the Virgin Mary, the history of the itineraries of the processions and their programmes reported through high quality printings, the reproduction of the canopy and the Holy Image, along with other symbolic objects representing the whole history of the devotion to the Virgin Mary. A sample of the literature dedicated to the Beata Vergine di San Luca and the sanctuary completes the exhibition itinerary.