Official Tourist Information Site
of Ravenna

PORTA GAZA (or Porta dei Preti, also known as Gazza) is located to the south of the city, close to the current Via Circonvallazione al Molino.

The first mention of the gate dates back to 1186, but the structure probably has a more ancient origin. It lies between the extension of walls by Valentinian III (4th century AD) and the older walls of the Roman oppidum.

Many documents suggest that its name refers to its previous function as access to the castellum of the Gazi, whose evidence are rather uncertain and vague (see focus).

Unlike the other access gates of the city, this gate has been owned by the archbishopric and thus only used by the Church for centuries.

However, we know for certain that in 1338, Archbishop Francesco Michiel granted the so-called quartiere gazo in emphyteusis to Raniero (son of the Count of Cunnio), with the obligation of personally taking care of this stretch of fortification.

The gate was closed at the end of the 16th century and then rebuilt for the “ornament and benefit of the city” in 1750, by order of Archbishop Ferdinando Romualdo Guiccioli, as shown by the epigraph above the arch.

Unused for a long time, with the Unification of Italy the gate passed into the hands of the army, which also built an armory – later adapted to a dovecote – beside it.

Damaged during World War II, during the 1960s it was restored to the form it still has today.

The door is made of bricks, except for a few decorative elements in marble: the cornices of the attic and the two side wings, the capitals and the keystone of the arch, inside which are the monograms of Mary and Jesus.

The base is made of white limestone and fossil limestone. A masonry crowning structure framed by a band made of another material, with the archbishop’s inscription in the centre, concludes the composition.


The castellum  of the Gazi counts

On the southern side of the city walls of Ravenna, in the area surrounding Porta Gaza, there probably was an early medieval fortification. The name Gazi was used in many occasions to refer to this area, starting from 960 AD.

According to some scholars, the name – rather than to the name of a family – refers to a fortification made of perishable material (a gahagium), that is a defensive fence frequently present in the territories of Lombard occupation.

The so-called castellum of the Gazi – rather than a real fortification – was a sort of defensive fence added to the early medieval city walls, which also gave name to the guard on duty, the gate and the street mentioned by the medieval written sources.

Further information

How to get there

The gate is located about 350 metres away from the central Piazza Kennedy, close to the archiepiscopal complex and the Neonian Baptistery.

On foot: the gate is easily rechable on foot from the railway station.

By bus: the area of the gate is served by public transport. For more information:

By car: there are many parking areas in the city, also along the streets. For more information, click HERE.

A cura della Redazione Locale

Last edit:12 April 2022

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