Porta (Gate) Asinaria

"Porta (Gate) Asinaria" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Friday 15th July 2011

This is the most impressive of the ancient Roman gates as for the height and length of defense system, as for the two rectangular and two semi-circular towers. It was originally a simple gate, but Honorius added two semi-cylindrical towers to increase its resistance to the probable attacks of enemies. The name derives from Via Asinaria which took its beginning from here and from which the big road Via Tuscolana was born.

Porta (Gate) Asinaria is next to Porta San Giovanni at Piazza di Porta San Giovanni
It was located next to Porta San Giovanni and was originally a small gate without towers that allowed passing through the Aurelian Walls to reach Via Asinara, and further on Via Tuscolana. The name seems to come from the Asinii family that owned properties in the surroundings or perhaps is due to the fact that many donkeys (asini) passed through it carrying goods.

The history of this gate remembers about the siege of Goths, attacks of Hungarian military groups in 928, the entrance in 1084 of Normans who put on fire the greatest part of Rome starting from here.

In the fifth century the gate was completely rebuilt by Emperor Honorius (395-423 A.D.), when the entrance arch covered with travertine was made wider and two semicircular towers were added on the sides. A storm door and a safety courtyard were built internally. The Byzantine General Belisarius entered Rome through this door in 536 A.D., while the Goths fled through Porta Flaminia, and ten years later the king of the Ostrogoths Totila.

The gate was kept open until the time of Pope Pious the Forth (1559-1565) and was then definitively closed and replaced by Porta San Giovanni, built by Pope Gregory the Thirteenth in 1573. In the 16th century Porta Asinaria was abandoned, and remained occluded by the rise of the ground from both sides due to the dumps and soils brought here and was cleaned, embellished and reopened. In 1951 the Municipality of Rome restored the monument back to its original appearance after years of complete underground burial.

Porta (Gate) Asinaria
Piazza di Porta San Giovanni (Piazzale Appio)
00183, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Monti (Colosseo - S.Giovanni - S.Maria Maggiore) (Roma centro)/ Rione Esquilino (Termini - Via Nazionale) (Roma centro)
Porta (Gate) Asinaria is Shown By "Map L Zone" As "16"
Hours: Closed: Monday, January 1, May 1, December 25. Notes: Open to organized groups by reservation only.
Entrance: Regular Tickets: Adults: € 3,00, Concessions: € 2,00. Please note: The price of the ticket does not include guided tours organized by Cultural Associations.
Telephone and Booking: Booking is required. Individual or groups: tel. +39 060608 (daily from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm). Schools: tel. +39 0642888888 (Moday-Friday: 9.00 am - 6.00 pm; Saturday: 9.00 am- 1.00 pm).

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