See the gates of Rome!!!

So as said, having a blast updating my older posts in my blog, and at the same finding some gems that sadly have been overloooked! They have been mentioned briefly in other posts but no picture and they deserve a post of their own me think. So, therefore, here are my brief rendition of favorite gates of Rome!!! 

The porta Pia, is a gate built between 1561 and 1565 in the Aurelian wall by order of Pope Pius IV whose name it takes. Located between the Porta Nomentana (now condemned) and the Porta Salaria, it is an extension of the Strada Pia following the route of the ancient Alta Semita and gives access to the via XX Settembre. And we passed by it each time out from our apartment in Nomentana !! Completed in the 19C, it was the place of entry into Rome of the troops of the Risorgimento during the capture of Rome. The Porta Pia houses within its walls the Historical Museum of the Bersaglieri (see post) as well as the tomb of Gino Lucetti, an Italian hero of WWI.

roma museo historico dei bersaglieri at porta pia aug13

It was built on plans and drawings by Michelangelo, who presented three versions of the gate to the Pope, including the one chosen which was more concerned with designing a theatrical work than a functional gate according to experts. The monument subsequently underwent various changes and arrangements by Michelangelo who wanted to embellish what was his last work. The external facade of the gate was completed in 1869 partly following the plans of Michelangelo. According to the request of Pope Pius IX, the additions include two statues representing Saint Agnes (to the left) and Saint Alexander (to the right), as well as four imposing columns framing it. They symbolize his successful rescue of the  neighboring Saint Agnes Convent during the collapse of the audience chamber on April 12, 1855 from which he survived.

roma porta pia aug13

The Rome tourist office on Porta Pia

The porta San Giovanni is a gate of the Aurelian wall in Rome located in the rione of Monti which owes its name to its proximity to the Archibasilica of Saint John in the Lateran (see post). It is located between the porta Maggiore and the porta Asinaria located a hundred meters away. This gate made up of a single arch was ordered by Pope Gregory XIII and was most probably made by Giacomo Del Duca who was Michelangelo’s assistant during the construction of the Porta Pia (see above).

roma porta san giovanni aug13

It was ordered to facilitate traffic from and to southern Italy, especially Campania, in the Lateran area, which was being restructured at the time. Its style, due to the period of construction, is closer to a decorative gate than to a defensive work with the absence of a defensive tower or bastion. It was inaugurated in 1574. Porta San Giovanni overlooked via Campana joining via Appia Nuova. The gate is located at the edge of the Appio-Latino district and the Monti rione. It also marks the starting point of via Appia Nuova and via Tuscolana a few meters further on.

roma porta san giovanni far aug13

The Rome tourist office on porta San Giovanni

The Porta Maggiore was built in 52 under Emperor Claudius, which supports the Aqua Claudia aqueduct crossing via Praenestina and via Labicana.  The two upper bands correspond to the channels of the aqueducts of Anio Novus and Aqua Claudia, started in 38 under Caligula, completed in 52 under Claudius. This monumental passage was integrated into the Aurelian wall, from 271 of which it became a gate in its own right.  Pope Gregory XVI had it restored in 1838, during the demolition of the stone curtain protecting it from external attacks, the republican tomb of the baker Eurysacès and his wife Atistia appeared.

The two large travertine arches are framed by Corinthian columns in the rustic “unfinished” style in the fashion of Claudius’ time. The attic with three registers contains the canals of the two superimposed aqueducts, clearly visible in section (Aqua Claudia below, Anio Novus above) and bears, from top to bottom, inscriptions repeated on both sides of Claudius (52), Vespasian (71), Titus (81-82) and, on the side, an inscription of Honorius (403) from the Porta Labicana, demolished in 1838.

roma porta Maggiore aug13

The Rome tourist office on porta Maggiore

So now I feel better to have them in my blog; these are wonderful gates in old Rome. Hope you enjoy the post and do stop by to see them, a wonderful architecture and nice history , of course in Rome.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “See the gates of Rome!!!”

  1. All roads lead to the gates of Rome. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

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