Via di Porta Angelica Rome
History and description
The Via di Porta Angelica is named after the gate commissioned by Pope Pius IV and built in 1563 in the then new stretch of wall connecting the Piazza del Risorgimento by means of the Via Stefano Porcari and the Via Alberico II to the bastions of the Castel Sant’Angelo.
The Porta Angelica itself got its name from the pope’s birth name, Giovanni Angelo Medici and was intended for pilgrims entering the city from the north. Simultaneously, the pope also ordered the construction of a long straight road, which more or less followed the route of today’s Viale Angelico, Via Ottaviano and Via Barletta to join the Via Cassia consular road near the Ponte Milvio.
The walls on the right side of the street were built only in 1929, after the signing of the so-called Concordato, in which the borders between the Italian State and the Vatican City were established. At the corner with the Piazza del Risorgimento, the coat of arms of Pope Pius XI Ratti is attached, commemorating this event.
Opposite the Borgo Pio is the Porta Sant’Anna, a more recently built gateway to the Vatican City. This gate is named after the Sant’Anna dei Palafrenieri Church, which has been inside the Vatican walls since 1929.
The two arches at the end of the street were not created simultaneously. The one on the right was commissioned by Pope Pius IV in 1563, while the other one was erected in 1933, when the entire district was redeveloped.
The plaques above these arches refer to the various restorations commissioned by different popes over the centuries.