Sunday, May 16, 2010



The sanctuary of San Luca sits on a hilltop outside the city of Bologna. To reach it one walks under one of the longest continuous porticoes in the world...3.5 Km (2.17mi). The brochure said that it offers a panoramic view of the russet rooftops of the city, an opportunity I could not ignore. OK, it is uphill, but if I took my hard could that be?

It was overcast when I set out at 9 AM, walking to the outer border of the old city to porta Saragozza, about 1/2 mile. From there, walking under the porticoes of Via Saragozza it was about another mile to the entrance to San Luca. Of course I thought this part of the walk was part of the 3.5 Km. I reached the entrance and looked up to see the portico bending upward on the hill as people of all ages and sizes past me on the way. So, taking my time, I began the accent, slowly walking up....and up. Having no idea how long a Km was I told myself, go slow, how hard can it be. The sun came out, and my back pack and camera began to get heavier, and I began to feel a little warm. And people continued to hustle by me, so I figured it could not be much longer. It looked like it leveled out up ahead, but when I reached there it turned to the left and I faced an endless flight of stairs. More people hustled by me. Now I’m getting al little winded, but being the friggin Pollyanna that I am, I figured we were almost there.
Ha...what did I know. More steps, more long straight stone walkway, and more fatigue. Now I am a tiger, and I was motivated by the promise of the view, but even more, I was motivated by older man and women walking by me, with apparent ease. I pushed on. When I had to stop, I would sit on the low wall along the way and take out my cell phone and pretend I was talking....that thing they call pride.

I made it to the top! My heart rate was around 375 beats per minute, but we made it. And, to my great disappointment, the panoramic view of the city was totally unimpressive! Nevertheless it was a great walk, I passed some lovely views and homes, and most importantly on the way home I discovered a delightful small restaurant near my apartment where I eventually had a well deserved lunch.

Walking up was hard on my cardiopulmonary system, walking down was tough on my feet and knees. Walking up I struggled to look calm and “hey, no problem here”. Walking down I felt smug...I did it.

the photos are a bit out of order but my internet connection keeps shutting down on me so I'm leaving them as they are. Hopefully you can figure them out.


Amy said...

I love it, Dad! You can climb any mountain at the right pace. I had to laugh at pretending to talk on the phone. I am so proud of you for taking this trip and for your adventurous spirit!

Karen said...

Wow....great was well worth YOUR effort! :)