From Porta Metronia to Porta Latina


7_Porta Metronia-Porta Latina
Starting from Porta Metronia, there is a pleasant walk along the outside of the Aurelian Walls, leading to Porta Latina and then Porta. S. Sebastiano. The first part of the route, to more than half-way up viale Metronio, is in the linear park built alongside the walls, with pedestrian and cycle paths and rest areas. There is a plaque on the ninth tower commemorating the restorations by Pope Pius IX, and there are various construction techniques visible on this stretch, witnessing the numerous restorations carried out in different ages. The stretch along via delle Mura Latine has needed careful restoring, as is about 400 metres long, includes eleven towers, excluding those of the gates, and four Papal coats-of-arms.

Pictures by permission from Roma Capitale-Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Further reproduction prohibited

Piazza di Porta Metronia
Always visible.

In the traffic dividing flowerbeds in Piazzale Metronio, between two series of openings from the late 1930s, there are traces of an archway in the walls, rising just over one metre above ground level. These are the remains of the ancient Porta Metronia, a postern enabling access to the Celio.
Constituted by a single arch, the opening of the gate is in the brick work of the walls, which in this stretch followed the undulation of the very uneven terrain. In subsequent times, the gate was flanked by the tower rising on the city side of the walls and which is still visible, used as a storm door for the guard corps of for the portcullis.
The gate was closed as early as the 12th century, when Callixtus II (1122) used it as a passage for the Marian waters. There are still signs commemorating the first restoration by the City of Rome in an epigraph dating back to 1157, in the courtyard of the storm door tower. Four hundred and twenty-one years later, a second stone was placed next to the old one documenting another restoration of the storm door under the papacy of Gregory XIII (1579).

7b_Porta Latina
Via di Porta Latina, 17
Always visible.

This gate, built across via Latina, has a single opening coated in travertine bricks and flanked by two semi-circular brickwork towers. The grooves for the grate for blocking access, opened and closed using cables from the manoeuvring chamber above, is visible on the inside part of the arch. The main brickwork structure is still that from Aurelian times, except for the lowering and contraction of the archway by the Emperor Honorius, to whom the Christian monogram and Byzantine cross on opposite sides of the arch also belong.
Porta Latina has recently been restored again and the inside will soon be able to be visited, connected to short stretches of the wall-walk on the walls on either side.

How to get the step: From Porta Metronia to Porta Latina

Aurelian Walls, Rome, Italy


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