If you are thinking of visiting Bologna you certainly cannot miss a view of its historic gates; one of the most famous is Porta Castiglione, also known as the “Porta dei canali“.
Porta Castiglione in a nutshell
The gate, entirely in brick, was built in the 13th century and is famous because the Savena canal entered the city next to it, essential because it supplied hydraulic energy to the factories in the area.
Porta Castiglione has undergone various restorations over the years. The first restoration was between 1378 and 1403, then others took place between 1850 and the early twentieth century, with the dismantling of the walls, and finally the most recent between 2007 and 2009, years in which the Municipality of Bologna decided to restore importantly all the gates of the third wall.
The door was deactivated and then reopened a few times over the centuries; in fact, a small curiosity, it was not mentioned in the Descriptio of Cardinal Anglico of 1371, but not because it did not exist at the time but simply because it was probably inactive and not used.
Points of interest nearby Porta Castiglione
The gate stands in front of the main entrance to the Giardini Margherita, Bologna’s main public park with a magnificent artificial lake and over 60 hectares of greenery. This park is ideal if you want to relax, do physical activity and enjoy nature even in the middle of an urban context; the park also allows you to refresh yourself having numerous kiosks and restaurants.
Another point of interest that rises right in front of the door is the suggestive Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia, with typical fifteenth-century architecture and rich in frescoes.
Just 70 meters away is also the Anteros Tactile Museum, precisely in via Castiglione 71.
This museum houses three-dimensional bas-relief translations of famous paintings and aims to raise awareness of the sighted and educate those with visual impairments on the use of residual senses.
Admission is free, and the visit conducted under the guidance of an operator also includes a tactile reading experience and a visit to the sculpture workshop where the bas-reliefs are produced.
How to get to Porta Castiglione
To get to the door you can use public transport and in particular Buses 30, 32, 39 which all bring you close to it.
If you are traveling by car, the closest ring road exits are no. 11/11bis-12 towards the centre.
If, on the other hand, you arrive by train and prefer to reach it on foot, you can easily get there on foot from Bologna Central Station in around 30 minutes: just walk the length of via Dell’Indipendenza, turn left to get under the Torre degli Asinelli and then take via Castiglione .