A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about running

One of the world's great (slow) runs?

SANTUARIO DELLA BEATA VERGINE DI SAN LUCA

all seasons in one day 18 °C

Leave your sunscreen, gumboots, and snow shoes behind; they are redundant on this amazing run that can be almost entirely completed under Bologna's historic porticoes.

yep, that spec in the distance is our target

yep, that spec in the distance is our target

Since arriving in Bologna in late August, Lisa has devoted herself to improving her parli Italiano, whilst my two passions have been following the Bologna FC - aka the RossoBlu - and trying to see as much of the town as possible on foot (and now also on bike following a recent purchase). The Santuario can be seen from our rooftop garden, so it became an obvious early target for a regular fun run.

looks pretty simple on paper - just follow the arrows! centro storico is marked by the (sort of) square shape; porticoe starts when you leave the centro

looks pretty simple on paper - just follow the arrows! centro storico is marked by the (sort of) square shape; porticoe starts when you leave the centro

Via Guglielmo Marconi - start point just near our apartment; pedestrian dodging commences here

Via Guglielmo Marconi - start point just near our apartment; pedestrian dodging commences here

Constructed in 1723, the Sanctuary can be reached by walking or running along and up the world's longest covered walkway, the Portico di San Luca, which is 3.5 kms long and consists of 666 arches. The portico was built to protect a miraculous icon of the virgin as it was paraded up the hill. Nowadays it is used by fitness conscious locals and dog walkers during the day, and couples for their fare una passeggiata (pre-dinner stroll) in the evening. There is an annual procession from the Cathedral of San Pietro in the centre of town up to the Sanctuary along this path.

Via Nosadella - 10 mins in and surrounds become quieter; covered walkway runs down the right hand side

Via Nosadella - 10 mins in and surrounds become quieter; covered walkway runs down the right hand side

Porta Saragozza - you reach this landmark after 15 mins - the world's longest arcade starts on the other side

Porta Saragozza - you reach this landmark after 15 mins - the world's longest arcade starts on the other side

Via Saragozza - don't worry about counting sheep, count the arches! this is the last of the flat stretch

Via Saragozza - don't worry about counting sheep, count the arches! this is the last of the flat stretch

From our apartment the first part of the run is flat, and requires nimble footwork to dodge cars, bikes, and pedestrians. After about 15 mins you reach the start of the Portico, and 10 minutes after that you begin the climb! A resilient shuffle will then get you to the top in another 20 minutes, where you can catch your breath, seek 1st aid (divine?) assistance, and take in the splendid views.

starting the climb; funny how it doesn't look as steep on film ...

starting the climb; funny how it doesn't look as steep on film ...

half way up the hill (Monte Della Guardia)

half way up the hill (Monte Della Guardia)

finally there ... always a great feeling!

finally there ... always a great feeling!

Returning back down is twice as quick, but can take a toll on various joints with the hard jarring encountered. A steady plod home from the bottom of the Monte will see you stop the clock at just over an hour, and aperitivi will then beckon on the rooftop as you contemplate another assault in the coming days!

looking south west ... tranquility

looking south west ... tranquility

not too many high-rises in downtown Bologna

not too many high-rises in downtown Bologna

the irony is hard to ignore - you pass Via Pietro Coubertin on the way back - considered to be the father of the modern Olympics - inspiration anyone?

the irony is hard to ignore - you pass Via Pietro Coubertin on the way back - considered to be the father of the modern Olympics - inspiration anyone?

Posted by happellfamily12 15:15 Archived in Italy Tagged church bologna running Comments (0)

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