On the 150th Anniversary of Italian Unification, a New Museum at Porta San Pancrazio Neighboring the AAR

Porta San Pancrazio is one of the western gates of Rome that opens along its Aurelian Walls. For centuries it has served as a main conduit for traffic to Rome that passes along the Via Aurelia Antica. Rebuilt in 1642—over the perimeter of the new Gianicolo walls commissioned by Pope Urban VIII—it was irreparably damaged by French cannons during the defense of the Roman Republic of 1849. Virginio Vespignani reconstructed this arch in the years 1854-1857, under the patronage of Pope Pius IX. For almost a century the Porta San Pancrazio also has formed an important part of the topography of the American Academy in Rome, whose main entrance on Via Masina is situated no more than 100 meters away.

The Porta San Pancrazio for many years also housed a small museum devoted to the era of Garibaldi, that few had ever managed to see and experience. But no more. The 150th anniversary of Italian unification, which fell on 17 March 2011, saw among much else the inauguration in the upper stories of the Porta of the newly reconstituted “Museo della Repubblica Romana e della Memoria Garibaldina“, which featured appearances by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and President Giorgio Napolitano.

Hours for the new Museum are Tuesday-Friday 10am-2pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm.  Below are a few photos of the (alas, rainy) day and of the event. Added are images—with first views from 6 AM on the day of the anniversary—of the many newly restored statues and monuments relating to the formation of a unified Italy  that are situated on the Passeggiata Gianicolense, plus the interior of the stylish new Museum.

 


Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi arrives at Porta San Pancrazio

President of the Republic of Italy Giorgio Napolitano arrives at Porta San Pancrazio (upper left, exiting from car)


An indication of the day’s weather

The Janiculum Ossario (built 1941); its cauldrons are lit just three times each year

Festivities on the nearby Via Carini

Dott. Enrico Luciani, who with his Comitato Gianicolo, worked for 11 years to see the realization of the new Museum

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