on wednesday my friend nikolas came up from florence to visit me here in bologna. bologna is pretty small so we mostly just walked around and then we decided to take the hike up to the basilica della madonna di san luca, or.. just san luca for short. when i took italian last fall, i did a report on bologna so i've known about this walk for a while and wanted to walk up when i visited in february but didn't have enough time.
the trail up to the church is a 30-40 minutes walk through 666 porticos, uphill and with many steps. it was quite the work out just walking but once in a while we'd get passed by someone who was actually working out (running, speed walking, etc). i think they were pretty dedicated to the bella figura to be running up the porticos in 89 degree heat.
the porticos felt endless. every time we thought we saw the end of the porticos, we'd turn the corner and see another long stretch of porticos before us. but, we FINALLY made it. the little church was lonely and beautiful, and we felt triumphant.