Porta Mascarella represents one of the elements of high historical and artistic interest within the city of Bologna.
Renovated several times to give it greater prestige, it is still today an important point of reference for the Bolognese themselves.
The gate in a Nutshell
Located in the third circle of walls once to protect the entire city, Porta Mascarella indicates the gate near the intersection with the ring roads.
In ancient times it was the access from the northern side for those coming from Ferrara. From the same medieval period some stretches of walls were also found, which can still be visited, not far from the gate.
In 1354 a drawbridge was built which had the function of allowing passage along the ditch dug for further defence. However, the same door was later closed and the raised tower, initially present, was eliminated. The gate was not secure but the inhabitants of the area struggled to open it again and fortify it as much as possible against enemy attacks.
Today the viability of the district is very high mainly due to its proximity to the railway station.
Today, crossing the gate means breathing in a piece of history, after having traveled a stretch of road that bears the same name. The square, located in the immediate vicinity, is also of the same name.
The history of the gate
The name of the port note is of dubious origin. It is thought that it refers to the era in which there was an ancient village in which the livestock trade mainly took place.
Its name evokes, in fact, the so-called “mascarella” as a fraud, highly probable in the sale of the fourteenth century. Others, however, believe that the term referred to the presence of masks during the carnival period.
There are those who make it derive from the name of a woman who, for a certain period, held the scene in that specific area, which later became an integral part of the city.
Once the aforementioned village was incorporated into the city of Bologna, the gate was built, built in pebbles, brick and sand. A type of architecture that reflects the Roman influence, at the height of its power when it occupied the remains of the city already founded by the Etruscans, and the subsequent Lombard invasion.
From Felsina or Velzna, for the Etruscans, it became Bononia for the Romans who, among the first works, dedicated themselves to the construction of the imposing underground aqueducts whose traces are still present.