The Vittoriano is among Rome's easiest-to-spot monuments. Built to commemorate the Unification of Italy and honor the first King of Italy, its architectural style draws on the great classical temples of antiquity.
If you pass by Piazza Venezia you may wonder what is the enormous white marble monument dominating the square. This is the Vittoriano, also known as the Altar of the Fatherland. The Vittoriano is among Rome's easiest-to-spot monuments.
Built to commemorate the Unification of Italy and honor the first King of Italy, its architectural style draws on the great classical temples of antiquity. It was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885 and inaugurated in 1911, after his death.
Excavations during its construction revealed ancient Roman city walls and architectural finds. Among the most unusual of these: the remains of a mammoth!
The statue of King Victor Emanuel II was made of bronze made by melting the military cannons of the Kingdom of Italy. The king's head is so big that his mustache is 1 meter long on each side!
The Altar of the Fatherland
The Altar of the Fatherland, inside the Vittoriano, was unveiled after World War I, as a monument to the Unknown Soldier: the remains of an unnamed soldier symbolize any Italian soldier who died in war. Over a million people attended its inauguration ceremony in 1925!
Many associate the Vittoriano with Mussolini because it was the site of military parades and the Duce's speeches from the balcony of Palazzo Venezia. After the fall of fascism, the building went through a long period of neglect mixed with shame. After a terrorist attack, it was closed to the public for 40 years.
The Vittoriano today
Reopened in 2000, the inside exhibition spaces were renovated and now host major exhibitions. For info: http://www.ilvittoriano.com/
The Vittoriano has been given the strangest nicknames over the years: the wedding cake, the typewriter, the desk...many thought it worth mocking. But it is still a place where we should bring our respect because it is a monument symbolizing Italy. On April 25, Liberation Day, the President of the Republic pays tribute to the unknown soldier by placing a laurel wreath on the tomb.
A flame burns continuously guarded by impassive guards.
For 7 € you can take an elevator up to the terrace on top and enjoy one of the finest views of Rome from every angle. Open til 7.30 pm (last entrance 6.45 pm). During Summer