From Porta San Paolo to the Tiber


11_Porta San Paolo - Tevere

The stretch of the walls crossing the modern day Ostiense quarter of the city and Testaccio, down to the Tiber, was of particular importance during ancient times due to its strategic position in the vicinity of the Tiber and the numerous warehouses in the area for the storage of food supplies brought from the port of Ostia, both unequivocal signs of the trading nature of the area, which has been preserved until this day. The walls, this stretch of which has been restored many times over the ages, after incorporating one of the most interesting of the ancient tombs in the city, the Pyramid of Cestius, run in a straight line down to the Tiber, where a medieval tower restored for the Jubilee in 2000 is still visible.

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

9a_porta san paolo
Piazzale Ostiense
Always visible.

The ancient porta Ostiensis, named after the road of the same name leading to Ostia, took its current name of Porta S. Paolo from the nearby basilica in honour of the Apostle.
Originally with two archways and semi-circular towers at the sides, it was transformed under Maxentius (306-312) with the addition of an internal storm door with twin archways, and the towers were reinforced and raised. At the time of Honorius (401-403), the external gate was reduced to a single arch and the towers raised by one level. As told by Procopius, in 550 the Goths under Totila managed to conquer the city by bribing the Isaurians guarding the gate.
On 10 September 1943, it was the scene of the last desperate attempt to resist the German occupation of Rome, during which 570 people lost their lives and are commemorated by inscriptions. The bombing in 1944 destroyed the stretch of the walls linking the gate to the Pyramid, where the road dedicated to R. Persichetti, who was killed in the fighting, now is.
The gate is now the site of the Museo della via Ostiense.

9b_Museo Via Ostiense

Via Raffaele Persichetti
Every day except Monday 9:00-13:30. Closed on December 25th, January 1st, May 1st and bank holidays. Admission fee.

The museum was opened in 1954 inside Porta San Paolo to illustrate the topography of the area between Rome and Ostia, which in Roman times was the location of the important road link of via Ostiense. There are materials from the area preserved in the museum, including inscriptions and tombstones. On the first level of the two towers, there are to major plastic reproductions of the ancient city of Ostia and the complex of the Imperial ports of Claudius and Trajan. The eastern tower contains the remains of frescoes from the late 13th and early 14th centuries which decorated a chapel where a Byzantine community used to congregate.

How to get the step: From Porta San Paolo to the Tiber

Piazzale Ostiense, 2, 00154 Roma, Italy


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