• Kat Escamilla

What is a Portico, by the way?

Updated: Sep 1, 2019

A portico is a colonnade or covered walkway in classical architecture. Since the middle ages, the elegant porticos of Bologna, Italy have been a meeting place for the public as well as a place for business and today there are specialty shops, art galleries and cafes along the arcades. With its inland location, Bologna gets hot and steamy in summer and it rains a lot in winter and it also can get very cold. To provide shade and shelter from the elements, the city built 53 kms (33 miles) of covered walkways between 1200 and 1900 CE. It is a rare privaledge to walk all over a city and be protected by any kind of weather. Under these porticos it is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, besides never getting pelted by rain or snow. Mostly, I am touched by how much socializing can happen under all these porticos. Seeing people at every turn conversing nearly brings tears of joy to my eyes; a glimmer of hope that smartphones haven't stolen our humanity entirely. We want Portico in Sebastopol to be a place to engage in human connection and conversation .

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