The gate was designed by the Veronese architect Michele Sanmicheli in 1541, upon returning from his journey in the eastern Mediterranean. Two inscriptions on the front and back of the gate, both dated 1542, suggest that its construction was extremely short, ending in less than a year.
The gate was one of the two main entry points to the city, along with Porta San Giorgio, for the visitors who came from the Brenner Pass, a mountain pass through the Alps which forms the border between Italy and Austria.
The gate is inserted in the wall delimited on the north by the Bastion of San Procolo and on the south by the Bastion of San Zeno, and is located near the latter.
The plan of the gate is square, with a large central vaulted entrance and a pavilion roof. A side walkway and the guardroom are located laterally, while other rooms can be found on the second floor.
In the past, the gate was equipped with wooden drawbridges, which were lowered onto the permanent masonry bridge that crossed the moat in front.
The gate resembles a triumphal arch, with a central arch and two square side portals. The facades, of brick and rustic stone, are composed of pilasters in Composite order, friezes and other ornamental elements, such as shields, plaques, and medallions.
HOW TO GET THERE
Porta San Zeno is located about 2 kilometers from the Verona Porta Nuova railway station. The closest bus stop, Via Vittime Civili di Guerra, on the bus Lines 32 and 33, is located near the gate. To find the gate on foot, use the map below.