Porta Salaria was part of the Aurelian Walls built by Emperor Aurelian in the 3rd century, including pre-existing constructions in order to expedite the works. Under it passed the Via Salaria nova, which joined the Via Salaria vetus outside the city. The gate had a single passage and was flanked by two semi-circular towers.
On September 20, 1870 the trait of the Aurelian Walls between Porta Salaria and Porta Pia witnessed the end of the Papal States. The gate was damaged by the artillery fire of the Italian troops, and the following year it was demolished. In 1873, it was rebuilt under design by architect Virginio Vespignani.