Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, Vittoriano of Rome!

On my family trip to Rome and surrounding Lazio region area we were confronted with lots of history and architecture which we love. However, one building really struck us for its size, meaning and even a bit of controversy. It sits in the middle of old Rome yet the building is newer sort of a big contrast that Romans and visitors alike come to understand and like. We like it too.

I have written on bits in my previous Rome posts, but think a separate post will do justice to this wonderful building, oh yes it is the Monument of Vittorio Emmanuell II the unifying king of Italy known there as Vittoriano as well.


In fact, looking back of my blog, only had briefly mentioned it on a post on squares of Rome, piazzas! So many things to see in my Europe sometimes overwhelmed with ideas. Now is the time to make up for it.

The monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, also known as Vittoriano, is located in Piazza Venezia (Venice Square) next to the Capitol. At the center of the monument stands the altar of the Fatherland (Altai della Patria), while the interior of the building houses the museum on the Reunification of Italy (Museo del Risorgimento).  The immense monument of an immaculate white marble, made between 1885 and 1911 to celebrate the 50 years of the Italian unity. It was built in honor of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy unified in 1861. It was built in the neo Classic style.


Architecture description, brief.

The monument, along with its grand staircase, is full of dazzling white marble extracted from the quarries of Botticino, Brescia. It is a profusion of columns and fountains where throne an equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, supported on both sides by 16 columns. The reliefs represent the Italian cities, the great reliefs on both sides of the altar of the Nation; these sculptures evoke Italy in art, science, religion and law. The structure measures 140 meters wide and 70 meters high. Above the building, on each side, representing unity and freedom, two statues inspired by the representations of Athena lead a quadriga. Below burns the eternal flame, on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The fountain, on the left, symbolizes the Adriatic Sea and on the right of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Romans have given it a number of humorous and somewhat uncomplimentary nicknames, including La torta nuziale (the wedding cake), dentine ( the Gears), Macchina da scrivere (the typewriter) and the Zuppa inglese (English soup) etc. However, today most Romans consider this monument, which continues to attract many visitors, as one of the symbols of their city.



What is there to see, really.

The monument holds the Tomb of the unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of Goddess Roma after WWI following an idea of General Giulio Douhet. The body of the Unknown Soldier was chosen in 1921 from among 11 unknown remains by Maria Bergamas, a woman from Gradisca of Isonzo whose only child was killed during WWI. Her son’s body was never recovered. The selected unknown was transferred from Aquileia, where the ceremony with Maria Bergamas had taken place, to Rome and buried in a state funeral in the same year 1921.

The flags of disbanded units of the Italian Armed Forces, as well as the flags of ships stricken from the naval register of the Italian Navy are stored at the Vittoriano in the so-called Shrine of the Flags (Sacrario delle Bandiere). The oldest flag on display is the flag of the 19C frigate Giuseppe Garibaldi. When an Italian military unit is reactivated its flag is taken from the Vittoriano and returned to the unit, which with the flag receives also the name, traditions, and military honors bestowed upon the flag over time.

One of the most attractive aspects of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II is the panoramic view that is obtained from the terrace at the top of the Quadrigas. Panoramic elevators/lifts are the only way to get to the top floor but the nice views from above make it worthwhile to climb.

Rome Rome

It is at the Piazza Venezia Free admission but to get the elevator/lift admission to top terrace is 7€. You have some nice nearby places to see as well such as the Basilica of Saint Mary in Aracoeli only 48 meters, Museum of the Capitole 134 meters, Capitole square 142 meters, Venice Palace 187 meters and the Trajan steps at 273 meters (the longest 273 meters is about 900 feet.

In all, it is a nice area to walk and walk we did. I do like to walk in the cities rather than public transport; I do come in by car , parked and walking we go; the best way to see and feel a city is walking above ground lol!

A webpage on tourism of Rome with a good (better) explanation of the monument here:

Hope you enjoyed this modern part of Rome ::) as we did.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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3 Comments to “Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, Vittoriano of Rome!”

  1. I read that some in Rome don’t care for the monument and have nicknamed it ‘The Wedding Cake’ and the ‘Typewriter’!
    Personally, I rather liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, this is a very impressive monument in a city that is not short of amazing architecture and works of art in general! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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