Porta Pia is an ancient gate in the Aurelian walls in Rome. It was commissioned by Pope Pius IV and constructed between the years 1561 and 1564 by Michelangelo. It was actually the famous artist’s last work and is considered by many scholars the monument that signals the transition between the late Renaissance and the Baroque. In the center of the main structure you can admire the large travertine opening, crowned with ornamental crenellations. This gate became incredibly significant in the history of Italy on September 20, 1870, when Italian troops blasted a hole through the gate, after five hours of bombardments, which allowed them to enter the city. Not long after, Rome was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy and the Pope’s temporal authority ended.
Not far from the place where the hole was blasted, there stand two monuments to the event. One is a monument in marble and bronze, while the other, right in front of Porta Pia, represents a “Bersagliere”, or a member of a rifle regiment, erected in 1932 by order of Mussolini.
Address: Via Messina, 25, 00198 Roma, Italy
Phone: +39 06 4424 9924
Architects: Michelangelo, Virginio Vespignani, Giacomo del Duca