DOTTI, Carlo Francesco
(b. 1669, Como, d. 1759, Bologna)

General view

Portico di San Luca e Meloncello, Bologna

The Arco del Meloncello forms a pedestrian portico over the road (hence an arch); it is part of the Portico di San Luca, a long arcade that sheltered the walk from the Cathedral of Bologna to the hillside Sanctuary of San Luca in Bologna. It lies beyond the gates of the Porta Saragozza, outside the former city walls of Bologna.

The arch solved the problem of a site where two roads intersected at right angles, and allowed the foot traffic of the pilgrims to proceed above the road, Via Saragozza, uninterrupted. The architect was Carlo Francesco Dotti, who won the commission during a competition in 1714, and created the scenographic arrangement with the help of Francesco Galli Bibiena during 1721 to 1732. In the early twentieth century the arch was raised a few meters to allow passage of a train underneath.