my hike up to San Luca under the 666 portico arches

I finally organized my photos of my hike under the 666 portico arches to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca (Il Santuario della Madonna di San Luca ) in Bologna. After a 45 minute walk to reach the beginning of the 666 portico arches, it took me an additional 40 minutes to reach the top.

The first photo (which I did not take) gives a good idea of the hike to the top. It’s a good thing I did not see this photo before doing the hike. The photo was originally linked to the San Luca website where I found it but the url is no longer active.


Because I had to stand on the sidewalk to take the next photo, I had a difficult time getting a good photo of the start of the walk. I decided against standing in the middle of the street and possibly risking getting run over.


Photo of the first few arches of the walk ~ at this point, I am thinking, this is going to be an easy hike.

Oh oh, stairs! Well there are only a few. Not so bad so far…

More stairs?

Am I getting close yet? An interesting view from the road…

Hooray, no more stairs. This walk should be a piece of cake now!

Wow, how beautiful…

Crap! Stairs again and now it is getting steep!

Wow, now this is worth the hike!

Am I there yet? It looks like that might be the top…

Could this really be the end up ahead?

I think it is!!

Hooray!! I made it!!

Next up…photos of the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca.

15 thoughts on “my hike up to San Luca under the 666 portico arches

  1. Hi Girasoli, great photos. It does look like it was well worth the hike. Very beautiful. Thanks so much for posting and sharing your photos.


  2. It looks like quite a hike in the summer heat but the view must be spectacular. You kept a good pace to reach the sanctuary in 40 minutes. I’d love to do this hike one day. Fabulous photos!


  3. I hope this inspires everyone to do this hike one day. It wouldn’t really have been as bad if I hadn’t been walking so much every day and was able to take the bus to the starting point. Reaching the top really made the entire walk worthwhile.


  4. Ahhh, I’m green with envy!! I read about this journey in a book once and have long thought how wonderful to do it myself – thanks for letting me trek along with you via your photos. And what gorgeous photos!! I might have to take the train to Bologna one of my days and at least walk part of this gorgeous path. Thanks so much for posting this.


  5. Anne, was it The Broker? Glad you enjoyed the photos.
    Menehune, I have always been surprised that Bologna has not become more popular. Better for the rest of us though I guess.


  6. hello. we just did the walk last Friday. Thankfully it was not a hot day. Tough going but well worth it. Found your pix looking for the aerial overview !!


  7. Hi,
    I am in the middle of reading John Grisham’s novel, “The Broker”. It is a good read, typical of his earlier ‘lawyer’ novels. Anyway, the story is set
    in Bologna. At one point, the character walks/climbs the 666 porticos in San Luca.
    Curious, I googled and found your blog. Super pictures! I now have a better understanding of what the walkways look like. Thanks!


  8. Hi Deb, I read The Broker a few months before doing this hike. I thought a lot about that part in the story while doing the hike. Fun book about Bologna. I’m glad my photos helped you picture the story better. I really had no idea what the hike would be like til I did it. I hope you get to Bologna someday to see the 666 portico arches and Bologna in person. It is a wonderful city. Thanks for stopping by :)


  9. I just finished reading John Grishams’ “The Broker” and a lot of the story took place in Bologna. In it he described the walk up to San Luca via the portico and I wanted to see what it looked like. so glad to find your pictures. I know I will never be able to do that walk so I lived it through you. Thank you.


  10. Thanks Fran. I read that book also before I did the hike my first time. It was fun imagining the characters in the book while doing the hike. Glad I was able to provide photos for you to enjoy! I took more photos this past summer and hope to one day get my act together to finish up my trip report and post the photos in a new blog post.


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