PORTA SAN MAMANTE (or San Mama) is located to the south of the city, in the area of Via Baccarini, Via Bastioni and Via Mama, very close to Porta Sisi.
Originally, these two accesses to the city were only separated by the course of the Padenna river, which flowed out of the city centre right by this stretch of walls.
Even if some sources confirm that it is one of the most ancient gates of Ravenna, it was probably built around the 11th century, as in some documents it is remembered as “nuova” (new).
The name San Mama is linked to the figure of Saint Mammes, the saint who also gave his name to the nearby church, later demolished by order of Pope Leo X.
The current aspect of the gate dates back to a restoration intervention ordered in 1613 by cardinal legate Domenico Rivarola, as stated by the inscription located over the arch and supported by two rampant lions: “S. P. Q. RAV. Portam hanc Prisca potentiae monumentum temporis iniuria collapsam hostiumque incursionibus devastam erigi aperiri MDCXIII”.
During the papacy of Pope Paul V, the gate was decorated with marbles, cornices and pillars and was also called Porta Borghesia, from the name of the Borghese family, to which the pope belonged.
Another one of its names was Porta del Molino, for its location in the area of the great mill of the Polentani family, later destroyed.
In the dialect of Ravenna it is called “i basciòn” (lit. the bastions), in memory of the large fortification adjacent to the gate.
The current structure made of bricks and Istrian stone consists of two pillars, with Tuscan capitals, resting on a base and supporting a massive architrave.