Art & CultureArt & Culture

Bologna, its gates and its zodiac signs

by /// February 5, 2024
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes



Twelve-star signs, just like the twelve streets from the heart of Bologna lead to its twelve gates, ten of which are still standing.

It’s an odd coincidence, and in someone’s opinion, it’s nothing but the proof (and not the only one someone would add) that the city has an ancient connection with astrology.

This tie traces back to its Etruscan foundation in 520 a.D. when the urban spaces were presumably divided in accordance to the sky division—the home of their deities.

Mappa di Bologna | Credit: Johannes Blaeu, via Wikipedia
Maps of Bologna | Credit: Johannes Blaeu, via Wikipedia

Born under the sign of the stars

Born under the sign of Taurus and rising sign Sagittarius —this according to some scholars, including the 14th century-wizard and astrologist Cecco D’Ascoli— Bologna seen from above looks just like a big circle of the zodiac with Piazza Maggiore in the center.

In this almost symmetrical circle, according to this theory, each of the city’s accesses built in the “third wall” should have had a symbolical, historical and energetic connection with the zodiac signs, determining the future of whoever would have lived or stayed in these places.

After all, in the most famous astronomer and astrologer’s opinion Ptolemy, every place on Earth originates under the protection of a zodiac sign, imprinting its features to the places itself and its inhabitants.

City Gates and zodiac signs

Whether you believe it or not, let’s try to look together at the possible connections between gates and star signs, at least to satisfy our and your endless curiosity.

Bologna (BO), Porta Saragozza
Bologna (BO), Porta Saragozza
  • Porta San FeliceAries  ♈️
  • Porta Sant’Isaia (destroyed in 1903) → Taurus ♉️
  • Porta SaragozzaGemini ♉️
  • Porta San Mamolo (also called Porta D’Azeglio, destroyed too in 1903) → Cancer ♋️
  • Porta CastiglioneLion ♌️
  • Porta Santo StefanoVirgin ♍️
  • Porta MaggioreLibra ♎️
  • Porta San VitaleScorpio ♏️
  • Porta San DonatoSagittarius ♐️
  • Porta MascarellaCapricorn ♑️
  • Porta GallieraAcquarius ♒️
  • Porta (delle) LamePisces ♓️

And to know the rising star?

Well, in this case, you have to distinguish people born in the city and people coming from somewhere else. For the former group, the rising star depends on the place of birth: in Ospedale Sant’Orsola the rising star is Scorpio, in Ospedale Maggiore it’s Aries.

Who was not born in Bologna should arm themselves with a compass, go in the very centre of Bologna, and follow these directions: Aries (East), Taurus (East-North-East), Gemini (North-North-East), Cancer (North), Lion (North-North-West), Virgin (West-North-West), Libra (West), Scorpio (West-South-West), Sagittarius (South-South-West), Capricorn (South), Aquarius (South-South-East), Pisces (East-South-East).

Are you ready to know your future?

* Bologna hosted, starting from 1088 A.B. – the year of the foundation of its University – the first chair in Astrology, which was kept until the 17th century.


Davide Marino

Davide Marino was born archaeologist but ended up doing other things. Rational – but not methodic, slow – but passionate. A young enthusiast with grey hair

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