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Porta Pinciana (Book 1) (Day 2) (Map A2) (Rione Colonna) and (Rione Campo Marzio)

In this page:
 The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
 Today's view
 The gate
 The gate of Villa Medici
 The Walls between Porta Pinciana and Porta Salaria

The Plate (No. 2)

Porta Pinciana

Porta Pinciana was one of the minor gates and from time to time it was closed. As Vasi says immediately outside the gate was Villa Borghese. The view is taken from the green dot in the small 1748 map here below: 1) is Porta Pinciana; 2) is a gate (lost) of Villa Borghese; 3) is the gate of Villa Medici. The dotted line in the small map delineates the border between Rione Campo Marzio (left) and Rione Colonna (right).

Small View

Today

The view today

The gate is in much better shape than at Vasi's time. Closed for most of the XIXth century Porta Pinciana was reopened with the completion of Via Vittorio Veneto which goes from Piazza Barberini to Villa Borghese. Villa Borghese has another gate not far from Porta Pinciana which is very similar to that shown in the plate. It is decorated with the coat of arms of pope Paulus V and of his nephew cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese.

The Gate

The Gate

The simple gate was not the object of any embellishment as its only use was to give access to the gardens of Villa Borghese. When the Borghese opened another entrance outside Porta del Popolo, Porta Pinciana was closed.
Today those (almost everybody) who arrive at the gate from Via Vittorio Veneto have the strange view of an obliquely opened gate (left picture): one has to remember that the only access to the gate was from Via di Porta Pinciana. Seen from there (right picture) the gate is perpendicular to the street.

The Gate of Villa Medici

The Gate of Villa Medici

Villa Medici has a very decorated inner fašade and a rather simple outer fašade. The reason behind it is that when it was built, the villa was accessed through a gate near Porta Pinciana leading to its rear side. The gate has a typical Florentine appearance, very unusual in Rome. Next to the gate there are still some coats of arms of the Medici family.

The Walls between Porta Pinciana and Porta Salaria

The walls of Julius III

Some 200 meters from Porta Pinciana a small section of the walls was strengthened in line with Renaissance practices under Julius III. Next to this section, excavations brought to light a small Roman funerary monument which was rebuilt between two towers. The walls and some of the towers have been adapted to houses. Parked in front of one of the towers a red Fiat 500 shines in the sun: this car in the 1950s was the dream of every Italian teenager.

Houses and cars



Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:


Porta Pinciana
Il magnifico palazzo di Pincio Senatore Romano, che quý presso era, dette facilmente il nome al colle, ed alla porta insieme, la quale essendo stata spogliata de' suoi ornamenti di marmo da Teodorico Re de' Goti, rimane ancora nella sua umiltÓ.

Next plate in Book 1: Porta Salaria
Next step in Day 2 itinerary: Villa Borghese
Next step in your tour of Rione Colonna: Porta Salaria
Next step in your tour of Rione Campo Marzio: Palazzo della Regina di Polonia

Go to    or to  Book 1 or to my Home Page on Baroque Rome or to my Home Page on Rome in the footsteps of an XVIIIth century traveller.


All images © 1999 - 2003 by Roberto Piperno. Write to romapip@quipo.it