The gateway, the Porta Palio, was designed by Michele Sanmicheli to celebrate the importance of the ancient Via Postumia. It’s name was derived from the horse-race the ‘palio’ which was held here at it’s inauguration. This monumental gateway was built between 1550 and 1561 and was constructed in an area of the walls which was difficult to defend. After many years of difficulties with the construction it turned out to be of little use and was only opened during the summer months. Even so the architecture of the Porta Palio was much admired, so much so that the Venetian captain Sforza Pallavinci observed that the Porta palio ‘had no equal to any other building in Europe’, while Giorgio Vasari defines the architecture as ‘bizarre and beautiful’ both comments much better than that of the Veronese of the time who nicknamed it ‘Porta Stupa’ or ‘closed gateway.
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