Saint Lawrence outside the Walls Basilica Rome

The Papal Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the Walls (Basilica Papale di San Lorenzo Fuori Le Mura) is one of the seven so-called Pilgrim Churches of Rome. It is the only one of the five Papal basilicas that does not have a Holy Door. The church is located just north of the city’s student district, unofficially know as San Lorenzo, to which it also gave its name. Continue reading “Saint Lawrence outside the Walls Basilica Rome”

Via Tiburtina Rome

The Via Tiburtina begins at the Porta San Lorenzo and owes its name to the city of Tivoli (Tibur, in Latin), famous for its gardens, the Villa D’Este and the Villa Adriana. It is one of the socalled consular roads and runs straight through the university district. The Verano Cemetery and the gorgeous Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the Walls are the biggest attractions along this street.

Via Tiburtina Rome

In the days of the Roman Republic the Via Tiburtina was extremely important since both agricultural products and marble were brought from Tivoli and surroundings to the Eternal City.

In 286 BC the Roman consul Marco Valerio Massimo Potito ordered the construction of the road. Initially the street started at the north-western corner of the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, where the ruins of the Trofei di Mario can be seen.

After the construction of the Aurelian Walls, the beginning of the road was moved to right outside the Porta Tiburtina.

In those days the road reached as far as Corfinio, in the province of L’Aquila. The first part, until Tivoli, got the name Via Tibur and the second part became the Via Valeria.

Between 48 and 49 AD the Emperor Claudio prolonged the road all the way to Pescara on the other coast. This last stretch became the Via Claudia Valeria.

The present Via Tiburtina Valeria (SS5) still connects Rome to Chieti and Pescara, but does not always follow the original route.

The first stretch of the Via Tiburtina is located in the Tiburtino district. The area to the right of the street is known as San Lorenzo. This is one of the most vibrant quarters of the city, since it is here that a good deal of the student population of Rome lives.

San Lorenzo ends when you reach Rome’s biggest cemetery, which is called Verano. The Basilica of Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls, one of the city’s most beautiful churches, is right next to the cemetery.

Via Tiburtina – Rome

Porta Tiburtina Rome

The Porta Tiburtina is also known as the Porta San Lorenzo and is located in the (unofficial quarter) of San Lorenzo.

Porta Tiburtina


The Porta Tiburtina can be found along the Viale di Porta Tiburtina. District: Quartiere Tiburtino.

History and description

Porta Tiburtina Rome
Porta Tiburtina on the outside

The name Tiburtina comes from the Via Tiburtina, since that street left the city through this gate. The name Porta San Lorenzo came from the Church of Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls, since the Via Tiburtina led to this church. To confuse matters further, at one point the gate was also known under the name Porta Taurina, thanks to the bull’s head on the arch’s keystone.

Originally the gate was just a commemorative arch, in honor of the three aqueducts, the Acqua Marcia, the Acqua Tepula and the Acqua Giulia, and it was not until later that it became part of the Aurelian Walls.

It is probably Aurelian who was responsible for the two towers flanking the gate.

In the 5th century BC Augustus restored the gate. Later, as inscriptions indicate, Vespasian and Septimius Severus also had work done on the gate and/or aqueducts.

Another inscription, over the outer arch, mentions a restoration by Honorius, who also had the inner arch, later removed by Pope Pius IX, built.

Viale di Porta Tiburtina – Rome

Tiburtino District Rome (Quartiere VI)

Tiburtino (Q. VI) is the official name of this district in Rome, but most Romans refer to it as San Lorenzo. The latter, however, is just one part of the quartiere, but it is here that most of Rome‘s students live, thanks to the presence of the La Sapienza University.

Tiburtino district Rome (Q. VI)

Tiburtino District Rome - Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls Basilica
Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls (19th century photograph).

Apart from the division in so-called rioni and quartieri there often is another division and that is the way the Romans themselves call parts of the city. Initially, in 1915, when the first quartieri were named, Tiburtino and San Lorenzo covered exactly the same area, but in 1931 the district was enlarged and the following year Casal Bertone was added. Thus the official Tibertino district became bigger, whereas the popular name of San Lorenzo stuck with the original part of the new quartiere.

Tiburtino District Rome Sights

San Lorenzo is clearly the main attraction of the area. Although it is not a very picturesque neighborhood (apart from the parts close to the city walls) it oozes atmosphere. Especially on Friday and Saturday nights, when traffic is not allowed into most of its streets, it can be extremely cozy.

The Cimitero del Verano is a beautiful and well-kept church-yard and also the Città  Universitaria is in Tiburtino.

The Basilica di San Lorenzo Fuori Le Mura (Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls) is one of Rome’s patriarchal basilicas.

Surprisingly, despite the huge student population Tiburtino is one of the areas with the highest average age in Rome.

Eating in Tiburtino

Thanks to the students’ presence in the area, there are of course many cheap place to eat. A perennenial favorite is Formula 1, one of the oldest and best pizzerias in the city.

A famous trattoria, recommended by many guidebooks, is Tram-Tram, near the Verano cemetery.

Quartiere Tiburtino – Rome