Official Tourist Information Site
of Ravenna

PORTA SERRATA is located on the north side of the city walls, in the place where the central axis Via di Roma crosses with the street leading to Sant’Alberto.

What you see today is the result of a series of renovation works carried out during the centuries, probably starting from the end of the 15th century.

Before, access to this part of the city was provided by another gateway in the city wall, called Porta Anastasia. From here, it was possible to reach one of the most important roads of the time, the current Via di Roma.

After the Da Polenta family was sent away by the Venetians, the gate was closed – here is the origin of the name Serrata (lit. fastened).

When Pope Julius II visited Ravenna in 1511, he ordered the gate to be reopened and named it Porta Giulia in his honour. This event created great joy and satisfaction among the population, although it was not destined to last.

In 1582, Cardinal Legate Ferreri had the structure demolished and then rebuilt a little further on (1583), so that it could match the new course of Via di Roma.

On that occasion, he had it decorated with marbles and materials coming from the destruction of the Roman Porta Aurea, which he himself had dismantled (see Porta Adriana).

In 1621, during a town festival, the vault collapsed, along with the wooden bridge over the Montone River. The gate was thus restored by Cardinal Legate Alderano Cybo in 1650, who called it Porta Cybo.

During World War II, all the buildings around it were demolished, isolating the gate and making it appear almost out of context.

Built with bricks and pieces of Istrian stone and marble, the gate features an arch outlined by an ashlar motif and a keystone recalling Greek triglyphs. On the sides, two half-columns rise towards a thick trabeation with the coat of arms of Ravenna and a the inscription Renovata Antiquitas (lit. restored antiquity).


Posterula Vincileonis

Walking around the parking of Torre Umbratica, it is possible to admire some pieces of the ancient city walls of Ravenna, which are still perfectly intact and preserved in all their height.

In this area, among barely visible lunettes, stands out the Posterula Vincileonis. It was an opening – now walled up – that once served as a passage to the outside for one of the various canals that flew through Ravenna in ancient times.

Historian Andrea Agnello recalls its existence in the 9th century in his Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Ravennatis.

Further information

How to get there

Porta Serrata is located at the end of Via di Roma, north of the historical centre of the city.

On foot: the gate is easily reachable on foot from the railway station (ca. 11 minutes).

By car: there are many parking areas in the area (e.g. Piazzale Torre Umbratica), or you can park along the street. For more information on parking areas, click HERE.

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

A cura della Redazione Locale

Last edit:12 April 2022

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