Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Hike- a second go around

But before all the snow came down, we went for a hike. A week ago today we woke up early and headed for this hills! This was one thing I wanted to check off my Bologna list during Tyson's break and I couldn't be more happy that we did the hike to Santuario della Madonna di San Luca that day. This was our second attempt, but first time hiking it. We are SO happy we waited until winter to do this again. When we arrived in August it was too hot and we would've been a sweaty, grumpy mess. But instead, we got to enjoy the cold air that was quite refreshing as we made our way to the top.

We learned that a pilgramage is made every year to San Luca to bring the Madonna that rests in the city to the sanctuary. This pilgramage, first made in the 1300's came about because of 3 long months of non-stop rain. A monk thought that bringing the Madonna to San Luca would stop the rain, and it did. So the people of Bologna gather to return the Madonna to San Luca every year. Some do the hike bare foot, to show respect. The Portici (porticos) provide shade and cover from the rain/snow and were built between 1674-1793 to protect the Madonna. It is 3.5 km long hike and the views of Bologna are wonderful. Don't base the temperature on what we're wearing. We were cold getting there but with the hike up we knew we would be shedding our layers so we braved the cold on the way there and then became grateful we didn't bring our bigger coats after we completed the hike!

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