The Sanctuary of San Luca
Keeper of a legendary icon
The Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca is a place of worship and one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Emilia Romagna. It can be reached from Porta Saragozza, in the center of the city of Bologna, then following the portico, which is almost 4 km long, as it winds its way towards the Colle della Guardia.
The construction of the Sanctuary began in 1741 from designs by Carlo Francesco Dotti, and ended in 1815 when the precious and richly decorated main altar was completed.
Behind the presbytery, inside a niche, is the icon of the Madonna di San Luca, which arrived in the city towards the end of the thirteenth century, and is a source of popular devotion.
Among the faithful there is, in fact, the belief that when one approaches the icon from the ste[s on the altar and observes it for some time, one feels followed by her maternal gaze.
Every year, in May, the Madonna of San Luca is celebrated by transporting the venerated icon from the hilltop to the city.