Despite its modest aspect and reduced size, Porta di San Vitale, called the “Gate to Ravenna” (“Porta per Ravenna”), has been very important since its origin because it has been located on an important road leading to Ravenna, the antique capital of the Roman Empire and the religious metropolis on which Bologna was dependent for many centuries. It was built in 1286 together with annexed houses for the captain and guards and with a powerful tower – destroyed at the beginning of the 16th century. Different construction works were carried out during the 14th century, including the construction of a drawbridge over the moat in 1354. Twice the gate was closed for security reasons: in 1447 and in 1512. The drawbridge was demolished at the end of the 18th century. The gate was reduced again in 1950-52 when the ravelin and the external avant-corps were demolished. The hospital complex Sant'Orsola has been existing next to the gate San Vitale since more than three centuries.
Source: "Restauro delle porte di Bologna 2007-2009"