Fortezza da Basso - Porta Faenza

"Porta" [gate] (written by Leonardo under Ponte alla Carraia): Postierla [postern] del Prato or Porticciola [little gate] delle Mulina or del Prato d’Ognissanti.

Destroyed, it was located in the vicinity of the Pescaia di Santa Rosa and Ponte alla Carraia, where the United States Consulate now stands.

"Prato": Porta al Prato

This gate, still existing, was built around 1285, and lowered in height in 1526, to be less exposed to artillery attacks. It takes its name from the broad plaza before it, called Il Prato [the meadow] or "della Porta al Prato", which was not paved in the past and was used for the weekly cattle market.
Leonardo sketches the course of the Mugnone that runs along the walls before flowing into the Arno, in front of Porta San Frediano.

"Faenza": Porta a Faenza

This gate formed part of the last circle of walls dating from the 13th century. It still stands today at the end of Via Faenza, so called from the name of the nearby convent of the Faenza Nuns. Between 1534 and 1537 it was incapsulated in the donjon of the present-day Fortezza da Basso, designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger with an extraordinary plastic effect deriving from a pattern of alternating hemispherical and diamond-shaped ashlars.

"Ghallo": Porta San Gallo

Beside the Church and Hospital of San Gallo, built in 1284, attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio. The tower was higher (35 metres), but was lowered in the 16th century to conform to the height of the other gates. It stands in the centre of Piazza della Libertà, facing the Arch of Triumph.

"Pinti": Porta Fiesolana o a Pinti

This name is probably derived from "pentiti", the penitents who withdrew into the nearby monastery outside the walls. Now destroyed, it stood in today's Piazza Donatello, at the beginning of Borgo Pinti.

"Giusstitia": Porta della Giustizia

Built in 1316, at the time of King Robert of Naples, called "della Giustizia" [gate of justice] because those condemned to death passed through it, along Via de’ Malcontenti, on their way to the execution place outside the gate. It was then called "della Zecca Vecchia" [of the Old Mint] when the Florentine Mint was moved there from back of the Loggia della Signoria. Now destroyed, it stood near the surviving tower called Torre della Zecca.
Leonardo also mentions the "Muro d’Arno" [Arno wall] and the "Pescaia della Giustizia" [justice weir] in Ms. L and in the Codex Leicester (13A–13r). Notable also is the memorandum in Madrid Ms. II: «Tomorrow morning look at the little fir trees of Giustizia, whether they are good for that purpose».

Texts by
Alessandro Vezzosi, in collaboration with Agnese Sabato / English translation by Catherine Frost