Most of the Aurelian Walls, begun by the Emperor Aurelian (AD 270-75) and completed by his successor Probus (AD 276-82), has survived. Some 18 km (11 miles) round, with 18 gates and 381 towers, the walls took in all the seven hills of Rome. It was raised to twice its original height by Maxentius (AD 306-312)
Just in front of Porta Maggiore stands the ‘Baker’s Tomb’. In ancient Rome it was forbidden to bury one’s relatives within the urban walls, so the rich baker Eurysaces built his tomb (shaped like an ancient oven!) right out of the city walls. It’s still visibile a relief showing breadmaking.
I’m pretty sure very few people have considered this monument, since it’s situated in a not very central zone, artistically speaking. Porta Maggiore in fact was formerly a section of the Claudian acqueduct, and later on was embodied in the 3rd century Aurelian walls and became one of the main entrances of the city. The present section bears inscriptions from the time of the Emperors Vespasian (69-79 A.D.) and Titus (79-81 A.D.), who restored the acqueduct in 71 and 81 A.D. You can still see the original basalt roadway beneath the gate.
The Aurelian Walls surround the old city of Rome. The walls where begun by Aurelian in 271 A.D. during Roman times to protect Rome from invaders. The walls where 60 feet high and stretched twelve miles around the city. Unfortunately much of the walls where torn down during the Middle Ages for the bricks and stone. I believe the gate you see here is the Porta San Sebastiano which I passed walking towards the Appian Way to the catacombs
The two arches of the Porta Maggiore, a gate to the city, were originaly part of an aquaduct built by emperor Claudius in the year 52.
In total water in 6 different aquaducts came into Rome at the Porta Maggiore.
Under the huge citygate you can see the old basalt road. Deep trenches of the carriages can easily be identified in the black stones.
All around the city you will find some parts of the city walls. The biggest walls which are still visible were started by Emeperor Aurelian. The work was completed under his successor Probus. The wall made of brick is 6 metres high and 3.5 metres thick. There were sqaure towers every 30 metres. The total lenghth of the walls is about 19 km. There is a museum about the city walks, where you also have the chance to climb up in a tower and enjoy the view from the wall. Check out my Museo della Murra off the beaten path tip.
Rome is unique among cities its size for its entire encirclement by its original defensive walls. Built by Emperor Aurelian in the 3rd century (not Marcus Aurelius, as is commonly mistaken), the walls retain their original appearance, and though foreign armies have since invested and sacked the capital, the walls did not undergo the fate of those ringing Constantinople. You can head in any one direction -- the walls will eventually limit your progress.
The Appian Way, the ancient Roman road leading into southern Italy, entered the imperial city through this featured gate or 'porta' as the Italians have it. Not far south from this gate are the catacombs and illustrious markers of former emperors.
Access to the city since its encirclement by the Aurelian Wall (and even earlier) has been through one of a dozen city gates that are marked by a wide arch in the fortification. The walls surrounding Vatican City are the most perfectly preserved in the city, but the masonry of the rest still holds. Watch for any one of these gates, and even though your business might lie within the city, step outside the city walls and look down the length of this ancient and wonderfully preserved fortification (3rd century AD).
For centuries, Porta del Popolo was the main gateway into Rome.
For geographical reference, Porta del Popolo is the North entrance into the piazza.
If you take a stroll along the wall just below Villa Borghese at Via Veneto, here are some of the more notable views.
Located at the top of the elegant Via Veneto, Porta Pinciana was built in the 4th century and forms part of the old Roman wall. It is also at the edge of the beautiful park of Villa Borghese.
Porta S. Paolo in ancient times was one of the many city gates built in the Aurelian Walls, and was built in the third century A.D. It once was linked to St. Paul’s basilica by a long portico.