Porta Asinaria Rome

The Porta Asinaria (or Porta Asinara) is a city gate in the Aurelian Walls in Rome. It is located below street level next to the Porta San Giovanni. The gate is not accessible.

Porta Asinaria Rome

Address, opening times and ticket price

The Porta Asinaria is located at Piazzale Appia – 00183 Rome. Subway: San Giovanni. Streetcar: 3, 8. Bus: 16, 81, 85, 87, 218, 360, 590, 650, 665, 673, 810, N1. The Porta Asinaria can only be visited under supervision. For reservations: Tel. +39 060608.

History and curiosities

Porta Asinaria in Rome
Porta Asinaria

The Porta Asinaria is one of the minor ancient city gates of Rome. The name derives from the ancient Via Asinaria, which, some distance outside the then city walls, merged with the Via Tuscolana. From outside the walls, one can see the travertine facade, as well as the two rows of windows through which the two corridors atop the gate were lighted. The two round twin towers on either side of the gate were only added later, during a 5th century restoration. The  older square towers from that moment onward were used as staircases.

In the year 546, the Barbarian soldiers of the Roman army committed treason by opening the Porta Asinaria to the Goths of Totila, who then plundered the city.

In 1084, Emperor Henry IV and the antipope Guilbert entered Rome through the Porta Asinaria with the aim of deposing Pope Gregory VII. This succeeded until the northerner Robert Guiscard succeeded in freeing the pope. However, in doing so he set fire to the entire district around the San Giovanni in Laterano Basilica and also severely damaged the Porta Asinaria.

During the Middle Ages, the gate was also known as Porta Lateranensis, Porta S. Johannis Laterani or Porta de Laterano.

The gradual elevation of the terrain led to the decision to close the gate (1574). However, the arch was first stripped of the travertine marble. By the mid-20th century, the gate was restored and was also covered with a new layer of marble.

Porta Asinaria, Rome

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