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Porta San Sebastiano, Rome

(30 reviews on the web)
Ruin Historic Site
The Porta San Sebastiano is the largest and one of the best-preserved gates passing through the Aurelian Walls in Rome (Italy).Originally known as the Porta Appia, the gate sat astride the Appian Way, the regina viarum, which originated at the Porta Capena in the Servian Wall. During the Middle Ages probably it was also called Accia (or Dazza or Datia), a name whose etymology is quite uncertain, but arguably associated with the river Almone, called "acqua Accia", that flowed nearby. A document ca. AD 1434 calls it Porta Domine quo vadis. The present name is attested only since the second half of 15th century, due to the vicinity to the Basilica of San Sebastiano and its catacombs.The original structure was constructed by Aurelian ca. AD 275 and included a double-arched opening surmounted by bow windows and two semi-cylindrical towers. The façade was faced with travertine. After a later restoration, the towers were enlarged, increased, and linked, through two parallel walls, to the preexisting Arch of Drusus.In AD 401-402 Emperor Honorius reshaped the gate with a single fornix and a higher attic with two rows of six bow windows each; it was also provided with an uncovered chemin de ronde with merlons. The bases of the towers were incorporated within two square-plan platforms, faced with marble. A later modification yielded the gate's present form, in which a floor has been added to the whole structure, towers included. Due to the absence of the usual plate commemorating the works, some archaeologists doubt that the work has not been carried out by Honorius, who left panegyric epigraphs on any other restored part of the walls or the gates.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Porta San Sebastian is a massive gate in the Aurelian Walls (which are particularly well preserved in this area). Amazing to see how Rome was (and had to be) protected after the empire began to fa...  more »
  • Impressive section of the Aurelian Wall and the largest gateway. very good free museum inside the gate towers and a section of the wall you can walk along the views are spectacular.  more »
  • At the “end” of the Ancient via Appia Antica. It’s not easy to find the entrance. Go through the big entry gate and it’s around the corner to the left. But, the signage is lacking. Once inside, there ...  more »
Google
  • Wonderful monument to discover. Museum is for free
  • For Roman History Nerds, there's a museum about the walls themselves and you can bike down the Appian Way all the way down up to Circus Massenzio
  • You can get there by taking the 218 from porta San Giovanni, the bus stops right outside. You walk in the door and start walking, I recommend having this summer from dusk onwards, will wrap for a smell of jasmine and feel again the steps of Peter and the early Christians who came to Rome to mark the history. Go all the way to the bottom to take you to the baths of Caracalla, where there is a nice Park and soon after the Circus Maximus that must see!
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  • A very nice, with lots of historical/archaeological sites to visit or walks!
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  • A blast from the past
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