Porta San Donato

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Porta donato bologna
Threecharlie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Porta donato bologna
Threecharlie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are thinking of visiting Bologna, you cannot miss a visit to its historic gates. One of the most famous is certainly the splendid Porta San Donato, also known as Zamboni.

Table of Contents

The Gate in a Nutshell

Questa porta, costruita nel XIII secolo in laterizio, appartiene alla terza ed ultima cerchia delle mura bolognesi.

Fu isolata come le altre porte nel 1903 dalle sue mura e ora spicca solitaria nella piazza che porta il suo nome, piazza di Porta San Donato.

La Porta sorge in una posizione molto favorevole per essere raggiunta sia con i mezzi tramite i bus 101, 20, 32, 36, 37 e 94, sia a piedi se si arriva in città con il treno, distando solo 20 minuti a piedi dalla Stazione Centrale di Bologna.

This gate, built in the 13th century in brick, belongs to the third and final circle of the Bolognese walls.

It was isolated like the other gates in 1903 by its walls and now stands alone in the square that bears its name, Piazza di Porta San Donato.

La Porta is located in a very favorable position to be reached both by public transport using buses 101, 20, 32, 36, 37 and 94, and on foot if you arrive in the city by train, just a 20-minute walk from the Bologna Central Station.

Point of Interest nearby

If you go to see Porta San Donato you are in a perfect position to visit the city because it rises in the middle of two important and historic streets of Bologna such as via San Donato and via Zamboni; among other things, through the latter you can reach the Two Towers, key monuments of Bologna, and the Jewish ghetto.

In the vicinity of Porta San Donato there are many places of culture, being also very close to the university area, and among these the Mineralogy Collection of the Luigi Bombicci Museum, the Geology Collection of the Giovanni Capellini Museum and the Anatomical Wax Collection are certainly worth a visit “Luigi Cattaneo”, which are all just a few steps away from the door.


The History of the Gate

This gate, which was closed and reopened several times over the centuries, was the subject of controversy in the 1950s because according to many it hindered city traffic and therefore its demolition was requested several times. Fortunately it was decided to demolish only one meter of the walls, leaving the gate intact in all its splendour.

The first restoration of the gate dates back to the 15th century, after it was closed and walled up for many years for safety reasons. In modern times, like all the other gates of the city, it underwent a major restoration between 2007 and 2009, which brought it back to its ancient beginnings. In fact, over the years this door has been restored many times and has returned to its original appearance only recently, at the beginning of the 2000s.

It was built for a specific reason, that is to allow the garrison of the road for the Argenta valleys and Ferrara and, as happened for other gates, the lodgings for the guards who were in charge of garrisoning it were built nearby.

5/5 - (4 votes)
This article was written by:
Ivan Agolino
I am a curious traveler and I passionately dedicate myself to the search for new tastes and emotions. I have made Bologna my home and every day I venture into its alleys to discover some new secret that I transcribe in these articles. I hope I can convey all the love I feel for this splendid city!
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