The Porta Romana is a medieval city gate in Siena. It is also known under the name Porta Nuova. Frescoes that used to grace this gate, were later moved to the Basilica of San Francesco.
Porta Romana Siena
Address: Via Roma – Siena. The monument can be viewed from outside.
History and description
The Porta Romana was constructed in 1328. Before it was built, the Convent of Santa Barnaba took up this site. It substituted the Porta di San Martino.
The Porta Romana consist of two parts, the actual gate and an antiporto. The antiporto is another, external gate, providing extra protection. Both gates are crowned by merlons.
The outer facade is charcterized by two stone wolves. There is also a fresco depicting the “Coronation of Mary”. It took three painters to finish the fresco. Taddeo di Bartolo started around 1417, il Sassetta continued and Sano di Pietro finished the work. He did this in 1460, 43 years after di Bartolo’s first brush strokes. Unfortunately, not much of the work is left, owing to the weather, but especially to damage caused by World War II bombings.
Some of the frescoes that used the adorn the gate were saved by moving them to the Basilica of San Francesco.
A fragment Roman inscription referring to the Emperor Augustus was placed to the rights of the gate in 1734.
The Medici coat of arms visible on the facade was placed there by Cosimo I.