Why should a gate and main artery of Bologna be named for a city in far-off Spain? Nobody knows, though historians guess it might have been in honour of some long-ago victory of Christians over Moors in the Reconquista.
Though built in the 13th century, and given a drawbridge a century later, it was an 1859 restoration that gave the Porta its cinematographic medieval appearance. By then, this had become the 'Holy Gate' through which pilgrims would pass on their pilgrimage, leading up the Portico di San Luca, which begins here, to the Sanctuary of San Luca.
The gate houses the small Museo della Beata Vergine di San Luca, dedicated the cultural history of the famous image of the Madonna housed in San Luca.
Piazza di Porta Saragozza 2a
Hours Tues, Thurs & Sat 9am-1pm; Sun 10am-2pm, closed Aug
+39 051 664 7421
Images by: Michele Ursino