The interior layout of the city was originally defined by the main entrances of the periphery walls. The eight gates (Porta San Giovanni, Porta Tiezi, Porta Capo di Ponte, Porta Corte, Porta Santa Trinita, Porta Fuia, Porta Gualdimare and Porta al Travaglio) divided the land into eight districts (also identifying the district names). At the time, this was an unconventional decision for the urban landscape of Tuscan towns and cities was typically divided into three, for example in Siena, Volterra and Pisa, into six, as in Florence from the 12th century up to 1343, or even four, as in Pistoia and Arezzo. However, in order to facilitate local administration, the city council eventually chose to consolidate the eight gates into pairs.
The “eight gates” then became the “district gates”, and are as follows:
- Porta San Giovanni and Porta al Travaglio (Santo Stefano district) whose coat of arms consists of a yellow lion on a red field
- Porta Gualdimare and Porta Fuia (Santa Maria district) whose coat of arms consists of a black bear on a yellow field
- Porta Santa Trinita and Porta Corte (Santa Trinita district) whose coat of arms consists of a red eagle on a white field
- Porta Capo di Ponte and Porta Tiezi (San Marco district) whose coat of arms consists of a green dragon on a red field