There are several accesses to the Vittoriano but best is to start by the gate at the front on Piazza Venezia. On left and right are the monumental fountains "Due Mari" of the two seas Adriatic and Tyrrhenian.
Once you start climbing the stairs you will see on the sides the six statues representing the "I Valore degli Italiani" the Italian Values and in front of you the Altare Della Patria. A flame guarded by soldiers burns on this front terrace to mark the grave of an unknown soldier from WW I. See my tip "Altare della Patria"
Above it is the colossal equestrian statue of King Victor Emmanuel II.
On the right side of the Altar of the Fatherland you can enter the building itself and climb by another monumental staircase to the Museum of the Risorgimento and to the terrace on the right and back side of the Vittoriano. From this terrace you can enter the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli which is at the same level showing how the Vittoriano was built at the expense of the Capitoline hill.
From here visitors have access to a glass lift installed in 2007 to take paying visitors (7 € in 2007) up to the very top the "Quadriga's" terrace. As there was a queue at the elevator I remained on this intermediate terrace where there is a self service cafeteria. From this (free) terrace one has already exceptional views on the Foro di Cesare, Foro and Mercato Traiano with the Torre delle Milizie in the back and on the right the Colosseum.
This intermediate terrace with a cafeteria is really a good place to have a rest and unforgettable views on Rome.
One can also reach this terrace by the principal entrance to the Museo del Risorgimento (free entry) at Via di San Pietro in Carcere.
I like to say that despite all the criticism about this monument, the Vittoriano attracts a large number of visitors because it is a fantastic view point over the city of Rome. Don't hesitate to climb the stairs. It seems that there are somewhere lifts inside the monument but I didn't see any.
Open every day 9.30 - 18.30 h. Free.
A large and massive monument, in central Rome, is the subject of strong critics. With a not totally disguised modernity (about one century old), it becomes a visual aggression to the smaller but richer monuments around it.
Anyway, I didn't find it so ugly and out of context as most specialists say.
The Monument, also known as 'Il Vittoriano' or as the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Nation), was built with white marble from Botticino in the province of Brescia. It is decorated with several statues, reliefs and murals, by artists from all Italy.
At the center of the big monument (120 meters long and 80 meters high), stands the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel, work of sculptor Enrico Chiaradia, weighing 50 tons and 12 meters long.
Below the statue is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, permanently with guards of honor.
The upper section, if you are not tired enough to climb the high staircase, is a curved colonnade 15 meter tall, with a decoration looking like small chapels.
From many of the higher vantage points that give you a view of the city of Rome, you can see a very large very white structure in the middle. If you are looking for the Colosseum, you can’t miss this white monument to unified Italy’s first king, Vittorio Emanuele II.
From everything I’ve read, the locals don’t like the monument and many tourists don’t either. I wasn’t that impressed with it – so much so that I was fine with seeing it from the street; I didn’t need to climb the steps to go inside or pay to take the elevator to the top for a view. Locals call this monument unflattering names such as the “wedding cake,” the “false teeth,” or the “typewriter.”
It was built in the early 1900s as a memorial to the king (not a tomb – he’s buried in the Pantheon); this design won from a contest of 98 other entries (one can only imagine what the others looked like). It was only later that a museum to the reunification was added along with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and its eternal flame. And recently glass elevators were added to take people to the top of the monument (they sneak some stairs in on you).
The monument is next to the Capitoline Hill with its museum and the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoelli butts up against this monument. There are three sets of almost dueling steps for each of these sites.
In the center of the two sets of steps to the monument is an equestrian statue of Emanuele and fountains that represent the Tyrrhenian Sea are on either side of the monument. At the foot of the wide steps are two bronze sculpture groups: Action and Thought, while additional groupings of sculptures around the monument represent Law, Sacrifice, Concord, and Strength. On the top of the monument are two quadrigae representing Liberty and Unity.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I is continuously watched by guardsmen who change every hour and is the site of official military ceremonies.
The glass elevator to the top of the monument costs €7 and is open daily from 0930-1930. The elevator is near the café in the back of the monument.
"A Place of Honor"
A Definate Must To See When In Rome
The Monument to Victor Emanuel, II
An imposing statue is flanked by a two-man honor guard
and is highlighted by an eternal flame, in memory of the
Unknown Italian Soldier of World War I.
Inside the Vittoriano monument is located the "Museo Centrale del Risorgimento Italiano". Risorgimento is often translated by Independence but it is in fact a period of Unification of the various peninsular States of Italy from 1815 to 1870. It should be noted that most Italian cities have a "Museum del Risorgimento" but this is the central one.
The history of unification of Italy is shown through various testimonies in a chronological way from the second half of 18th c. to the end of the First World War.
The first section of the Museum is dedicated to the chief protagonists of the Risorgimento. Are exposed paintings, sculptures, all types of documents concerning Garibaldi, Mazzini and Cavour. The swords and uniforms (including the trousers) of Garibaldi are exposed in showcases like relics.
A very dynamic sculpture is that of the battle of Castelfidardo (photo) in 1860.
The Piedmont army, the driving force in the war for Italian unification, under command of general Cialdini, won a very bloody battle against papal troops. Actually the papal soldiers were 10.000 against 40.000 Piedmonts!
This battle reduced the Papal States to the present Lazio region.
The final section of the Museum is dedicated to the World War I. In the middle of the section, is the gun carriage used in 1921 for transporting the remains of the Unknown Warrior.
March 17th 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of the Italian National Unity.
The museum is open every day 9.30 - 18.30 h. and museum admission is free.
Outside the museum is a terrace (and cafeteria) with wonderful views on the centre of Rome.
This is a monument on a grand scale. It is a massive piece of white marble at the point where Piazza Venezia meets the Capitoline Hill and whilst its scale will impress it does look completely out of place.
Being up at the top of this building you get some superb views. In fact, it appears that this is the only function the building serves! But if you visit on a very bright and sunny day then the sun reflecting off all this white marble may dazzle and disorient you.
Passing by at night when the building is illuminated it looks less intrusive.
This a place where everybody goes. Walking, or by car, the square is almost impossible to bypass,and thus, its most remarkable detail is... traffic.
With Vitor Emmanuel monument in one side and a few discreet palaces in the other, people generally don't spend much time in it. But if you have time, Venetia, Bonaparte and Generali are referenced palaces in the square.
We lived so close to this,that we walked by many times.At our last day we went in.Finally we started to get tired,and after walking up the stairs in +39c heat we were so tired that we only watched the view.I´m not even sure,what was in the museum.I remembered that I had been all the way up in1989,but maybe I remeber wrong,or it has been closed after.I don´t think it´s ungly,like I´ve heard Romans to think.But we were happy enough to see it outside,and climb to see the fire that burns all the time.
I´ll put the link to it´s pages,and if you are interested of the museum inside,read more there.
Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II - Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) or Il Vittoriano is a monument to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.
It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. The monument was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1895. It was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1935.
The monument is built of pure white marble from Botticino, Brescia, and features majestic stairways, tall Corinthian columns, fountains, a huge equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas.
The structure is 135 m wide and 70 m high. If the quadrigae and winged victories are included, the height is to 81 m.
The monument was controversial since its construction destroyed a large area of the Capitoline Hill with a Medieval neighbourhood for its sake.
The monument itself is often regarded as pompous and too large.
The base of the structure houses the museum of Italian Reunification.
The monument holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of Italy after World War I following an idea of General Giulio Douhet. The body of the unknown soldier was chosen from amongst 11 unknown remains by Maria Bergamas of Gradisca D' Isonzo whose only child was killed during World War I and whose body was never recovered. The selected unknown was transferred from Aquileia, where the ceremony with Bergamas took place to Rome in late October to early November of 1921.
The Romans are saying that this monument is the ugliest building in Rome and maybe in all Italy, it is like wedding cake. I don't agree with them. For me as for tourist it is pompous and great building. And it is look much better at night ...
Without a doubt the most dominant building on Piazza Venezia and maybe even of the whole city is Il Vittoriano. This massive building is a monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, who was the first king of united Italy. There is a big (12 m long) statue of him on a horse right in the centre.
Housed in the building is the Risorgimento Museum, that shows all the events that eventually led to this united Italy. There is also a spectacular view from the balcony. The locals refer to Il Vittoriano with words such as typewriter or weddingcake, for it is so huge and not very loved.
Open: Tue-Sun 9:00-17:00
The balcony however closes somewhat earlier.
Walking all the way to the end of Via dei Fori and just north of Capitoline Hill we came across with Piazza Venezia. I don’t know why but I was expecting to see an impressive square but it turned out to be just a busy traffic intersection (via del Corse is one of the main roads that pass from here).
Pic 1 shows piazza Venezia with the Palazzo Venezia to the left which was built at the end of 15th century. It was used first as the residence of the cardinals that appointed to the church of San Marco (also located on the square) but later it turned into a residential papal palace. It belonged for a long period to Venice(1594-1797) after that it Austria used it as an embassy and much later Mussolini as his official residence. In our days it houses the Venezia Museum(It is open Tuesday to Sunday 9.00-14.00 but we didn’t visit it)
Of course the square is dominated of a huge monument which is of course Vittorio Emanuelle II monument (pics 2-3) a huge structure that was built at the end of 19th century to commemorate the first king of united Italy which was Victor Emmanuel II.
The memorial is 135metres long and 70metres high with monumental fountains and numerous statues on it(the big one is the largest in Rome and shows Victor Emmanuel of course). In the middle you can see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the eternal flame guarded by soldiers as expected. There’s a lift that will take you up to top but we didn’t go up because we were on the streets all day so we preferred to give the money (there’s a fee for the lift) to a near by café where we enjoyed a hot chocolate.
We have to return some day though because the monument also houses the Museum of Italian Independence and Museum of Flags. It’s open daily from 10.00am and there’s no entrance fee.
“On the Capitoline Hill, which recalls the glories of Ancient Rome, the Italians inaugurate a monument to the father of the country which typifies the struggles, the sacrifices, martyrdoms, and heroism which made the Italian resurrection possible.”
— Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti (1842-1928)
Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II) honors Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a united Italy. It faces Piazza Venezia and backs on to the Capitoline Hill. Designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1895 artists from throughout Italy contributed sculpture other works of art for it. In 1911, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the new kingdom, the new symbol of a united Italy was inaugurated; one millions spectators witnessed the dedication. The monument was finally completed in 1935 at a cost of $20,000,000.
At the center of the monument is the 40-foot-long, 40-foot high bronze equestrian sculpture of Vittorio Emanuele II created by Enrico Chiaradia. Rome’s largest statue had to be cast in 13 parts. The 13-foot long sword weighs 700 pounds; the horse weighs 4,000 pounds; the king’s pistol holders are over six feet long; and the head and helmet of Vittorio Emanuele weigh more than two tons.
From the very beginning the monument was controversial, in part because its construction destroyed a Medieval neighborhood at the foot of the Capitoline Hill. The monument is thought to be pompous and oversized. Because it is built from such pure white marble from Botticino, Brescia, Vittoriano sticks out amidst its neighboring reddish-brownish buildings.
Also known as Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) it has acquired a number of unflattering nicknames. Romans refer to the building by such irreverent slang expressions as Zuppa Inglese (English soup), the wedding cake, and the false teeth. When American servicemen liberated Rome in 1944 they labeled it the typewriter, a nickname also adopted by the locals. Former Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi pushed for il Vittoriano to be opened to the public as a vantage point over the Eternal City. A museum of military paraphernalia is housed within its walls.
The monument shelters the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the gilded figure of Italy after World War I (see von.otter’s Rome Local Customs Tip “Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown”).
Some call it 'a typewriter' or 'a wedding cake', criticise the destruction of the Capitoline Hill and medieval neighbourhood for the sake of its building... but I won't go into it.
The construction of the marble monument started in 1885, following the designs of Giuseppe Sacconi. The works on the monument with the tomb of the unknown soldier, majestic staircase, tall columns, sculptures, statues and fountains ended in 1935.
The base of the construction is home to the museum of Italian Reunification.
Also, if you climb to its top, you'll be able to admire some great views.
Lo and behold!
It's the most imposing structure in the area or maybe in the whole of ROme. The Vittorisano is glaring in pure white marbles and located in front of a roundabout that reminds me of Arch Du Triomphe in Paris.
It houses the tomb of Unknown Soldier with the eternal flame. They said it was built on a medieval neighborhood which raises controversy on it's construction.
Nevertheless, it's still is a beauty to behold.
National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II or The Vittoriano is located at the Piazza Venezia and dedicated to the first King Victor Emmanuel. Designed in 1885, built in 1911 finished construction in 1935.
Built in marbles and many artists and sculptors were commissioned to do the several instricate details and statues of the building.
It is the first one that really jump start my enthusiasm and made me gasp in awe, after my somewhat initial disappointment with the colosseum - so it was my miserable feeling at the hotel after all that blinded my perception of the colosseum.
Rome is beautiful.