Porta San Giovanni is a single-arched gate in the Aurelian Walls; it takes its name from the nearby church of San Giovanni in Laterano.
Porta San Giovanni was built for Pope Gregory XIII (r. 1572-85) by Giacomo della Porta or Giacomo del Duca (contemporary accounts simply refer to a famous architect called Giacomo).
The inscription proclaims: GREGORIVS . XIII . PONT . MAX / PVBLICAE VTILITATI ET / VRBIS ORNAMENTO VIAM / CAMPANAM CONSTRAVIT / PORTAM EXSTRVXIT / ANNO MDLXXIIII / PONT . III (Gregory XIII, Pontifex Maximus, for the use of the public and for the adornment of the city, paved the Via Campana and erected the gate in the year 1574, the third of his pontificate).
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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