(GMT)07 SEP 2017 PL3T:
One thing you can’t help but notice in Bologna are the porticos. There are 666 of these porch like structures held up with massive columns and they create a uniquely beautiful effect around Bologna.
In Bologna many porticos were built of wood until 1567 when a city ordinance prescribed that ‘wooden pillars be replaced by brick or stone’.
Bologna was an important university city from the Middle Ages onward and this meant that the town provided dwellings for students on the upper floors of buildings while on the ground floor, the shops and services provided for their needs.
Bologna also has the longest portico in the world, some 3.5 km long.
It starts in the city centre and ends at the ‘Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca’. It was built by contributions provided by all Bologna’s citizens.
Starting in the centre of town and at around 2 miles the walk to Santuario di Madonna di San Luca makes a refreshing change from the sights of the city centre. It's uphill and one or two sections are a little steep if you you have difficulty walking, but for most people it should be manageable.