Porta Pinciana (Book 1) (Day 2) (Map A2) (Rione Colonna) and (Rione Campo Marzio)
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).
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 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.
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
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.
Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:
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
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.