I’ve got the perfect destination for this latest edition of Vicenza Walks. If you’ll simply put one foot in front of the other, join me as I lead the way up Monte Berico. Feel free to point-and-shoot along the way.
Monte Berico, a small hill that overlooks and dominates Vicenza, is part of the undulating and vast Colli Berici (Berici Hills) that spread out south of the city.
Located just a short distance from the Centro Storico (Old Town), religious pilgrims, tourists and local residents alike take the steep hike up this hill to visit il Santuario della Madonna di Monte Berico, the city’s patron saint.
This is a jewel of a walk, with architectural and religious significance. Those up for the climb to the summit arrive on foot via an impressive 700-meter-long, two-sectioned archway.
Constructed to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, the archway was designed by architect Francesco Muttoni and unveiled in 1746.
The procession-like design, consisting of 150 portici (arches) in groups of 10, symbolizes the 15 Mysteries and 150 Hail Mary’s of the Rosary which are recited during the Stations of the Cross and other religious traditions observed by Roman Catholics.