Casting a protective eye over Bologna, the hilltop Santuario de Madonna di San Luca basilica can be seen from most vantage points in the city.
Built in the mid-18th century to house a portrait of the Virgin Mary painted by St Luke, the basilica has some notable artworks and statues.
One of the main highlights of this basilica is getting there – on foot. The sanctuary lies 4 km (2.5 miles) south-west of central Bologna, linked by the world’s longest undercover portico. Supported by 666 graceful arches, the portico is gently stepped as it winds uphill.
It’s quite a stroll to the Santuario de Madonna di San Luca, but well worth it for the experience and the views. The roofed portico begins at Piazza di Porta Saragozza.
Buses run to Villa Spada, from where minibuses continue on to the basilica.