Porta Asinaria is one of many gates that make up the Aurelian Wall. Built between 270 and 273, it is one of the wall's original gates. By the 16th Century, the increasing traffic overwhelmed the gate, and a new breach was made in the walls, which became the Porta San Giovanni. Following this, the Porta Asinaria was closed to traffic.
The Porta Asinaria was built as a part of the original Aurelian Walls, its unique tower blocks and guard rooms causing it to stand out from the rest of the structure's features. In 536, General Belisarius led his troops through this gate to retake Rome from the Ostrogoths on behalf of the Byzantine Empire. However, its glory was short lived; 10 years later, traitors opened the gate to Totila and Ostrogoths, resulting in the city being sacked for the second time within a century.