The Porta Alchemica (English: Alchemical Door) or Alchemy Gate or Magic Portal, is a monument built between 1678 and 1680 by Massimiliano Palombara marquis of Pietraforte in his residence the Villa Palombara. It is located in the east part of the historic centre of Rome on the Esquilino hill in a position almost corresponding to Piazza Vittorio. The Porta Alchemica is the only survivor of the five gates of the villa Palombara; there was a lost door on the opposite side dating them to 1680 and four other lost inscriptions on the walls of the mansion inside the villa.
The standing figures on both sides of the door feature deformed creatures, with short, stout legs and a grotesque bearded face represent a real Egyptian divinity or semi-divinity, called Bes. A patron of the home, childbirth and infants in ancient Egypt, Bes was also known in imperial Rome, where in pre-Christian age several people followed Egyptian cults.
Originally the two statues did not belong to Villa Palombara. They were found somewhere near the Quirinal Hill, where in ancient times stood a large temple dedicated to the Egyptian gods Isis and Serapis; century after century, many of its rich decorations, reliefs, small obelisks, etc. were unearthed, and were relocated in different parts of the city. During the works for the opening of piazza Vittorio, in 1888 also these statues were moved from their original location to the Porta Alchemica.