Porta Venezia - what one of the gates in Milan says about Venice.

  BY Ruslan Telemtaev   25 June 2016

Porta Venezia is one of historical centers of Milan. A history of Porta Venezia gate dates back to 19th century. Many Milanese think that its history can be traced back to Middle Ages or even Roman times.

The name "Porta Venezia" was officially given to the gate in 1862, in a hope that the county of Venice will join the Kingdom of Italy. Before, the gate was called "Porta Orientale".

Origin and meaning of the name Porta Venezia is questionable. However, the name "Porta Orientale" (Italian for "Eastern Gate") is closer to truth. Although, to be exact, the door is located in the north-east of Milan. Another name for it is "Porta Renza", which comes from Renzo Tramaglino - a fictional character from Alessandro Manzoni's historical novel "The Betrothed", who enters Milan through this gate. Sometimes, you can hear people refer to the gate as "Porta Argentea" or "Porta Fiorenza".

Gates were part of Roman walls in Milan (Mediolanum). Over time, the walls lost their defensive ability and during the rule of the Austrian Empire, between 1783 and 1786, they were reconstructed. Reconstruction of Porta Venezia gate was entrusted to the Italian architect Giuseppe Piermarini, who was responsible for rebuilding many places in Milan in the late 18th century (La Scala, part of the Pinacoteca di Brera as well as the Villa Reale in Monza). Piermarini decided to reconstruct the gate in Neoclassical style, but he died in 1805 and did not realize his plan. The work was continued by his pupil Luigi Cagnola. Reconstruction of Porta Venezia gate was completed between 1827 and 1828. Neoclassical relieves and statues were added later, in 1833.

Until recently, the gate was covered with posters. Only in 2004, posters got removed and the gate acquired its original appearance.

Porta Venezia consists of two twin buildings, which were used to accommodate border checkpoints located on opposite sides of the main street. Today, those streets are "Corso Venezia" to the back of the gate and "Corso Buenos Aires" in front of the gate. The area is surrounded by variety of parks, villas, bars, and restaurants.


translated by Anastasia Ostapenko