I love this gate called Porta Soprana. It was built in the 12th century, with the help of the citizens of Genova, as the government of the time attempted to defend the independence of the city from Emperor Barbarossa.
However, Barbarossa apparently knew that he needed the people of Genova, with their rapidly developing economic and maritime strength, and he never attacked. There was an oath of allegience and some levies instead.
And here I am, a 21st century woman, passing through Porta Soprana, goodness knows how many times on a given day as my wandering feet take me all over this Italian city that I love so well.
Source for historical information: the Genoa Guide (in English), published by Sagep Editori Turismo.