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Rome: the alchemical door ...

Rome: the alchemical door ...

The only survivor of 5, the "Alchemical door" or also called "Magic Porta", "Hermetic door" or "Porta dei Cieli", is located at the "Nicola Calipari" gardens in Rome, in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.


His existence is due thanks to the marquis Massimiliano Savelli Palombara (1614-1685). The Marquis was a passionate man, of vast culture and with hermetic interests, so much so that he had his own laboratory built in the mid-1600s to deepen research in the alchemical-exoteric field in his second residence of Villa Palombara.

The villa soon became an important living room for renowned characters, scientists and alchemists of the time, hosting, among many, also the mathematic astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini and her loyal friend, Queen Cristina Alessandra Maria of Sweden with whom she shared the same interests.


Legend has it that, in 1680, on a stormy night, the Marquis hosted his doctor Giuseppe Francesco Borri. The doctor is said to be wandered through the garden of the villa in search of a grass capable of producing gold.  They would not have expected that the next day, they would no longer find him. The doctor Borri had vanished and nothing remained nothing left. On closer inspection, however, some traces of pure gold and various symbols and alchemical formulas near the famous door that he had probably managed to overcome ...


The Marquis tried to decipher these formulas without success and by virtue of the fact that he believed they contained the secret of the philosopher's stone, he engraved the symbols on the 5 doors of the villa and on the walls so that anyone could first reveal the mystery and decipher them.


Today, this door is all that remains of the villa, whose garden coincided with the current "Nicola Calipari" garden in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.  On his sides there are two guardians, added at a later time at the end of the 1800s, depicting the Egyptian God Bes who, in the ancient Roman world, often find themselves connected to the cult of Isis, Egyptian Dea of ​​life, healing, fertility and of magic.


Among the engraved symbols you can see the drawing on the pediment of the door, depicting two overlapping triangles, the seal of Davide limited from a circle with Latin inscriptions, a cross connected to an internal circle at the top and a Oculus in the lower part (symbol of the sun and gold). Along the jambs, on the other hand, the sequence of the planets associated with the corresponding metals is depicted:

Saturn - lead

Jupiter - Stagno

Mars - Iron

Venus - Copper

Moon - silver

Mercury - Mercury

To make the solution even more difficult, there is a series of epigraphs that report mysterious messages. On the threshold, for example, there is "si sites not is" ... a motto that read from left means "if you sit do not go" and read from the right "if you don't sit go" ...


We thank the following sources for the information collected, and we invite you to a further curious study:

Photo references:

Round photo alchemical door e

Photo Porta Alchemica

PH: Mikhail Malykh, CC by 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


Photo Garden Nicola Calipari

PH: Mister No, CC by 3.0 <> Through Wikimedia Commons


Photo Rome

Photo 22120319 © Luciano Mortula /

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