Piazza Venezia - Vittoriano, Rome

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Piazza Venezia, Rome, Italy +39 06 0608

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  • Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
    Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
    by zadunajska8
  • Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
    Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
    by zadunajska8
  • Trajan's column in front of the piazza's churches
    Trajan's column in front of the piazza's...
    by Jefie
  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Vitor Emanuel Monument

    by solopes Updated Apr 14, 2015

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    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.

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    VITTORIANO - Museum of the Resorgimento.

    by breughel Updated Jan 12, 2015

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    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.

    Museum Resorgimento - Battle of Castelfidardo.
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    Piazza Venezia & Vitorio Emanuele Monument

    by mindcrime Updated Dec 3, 2014

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    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 Corso is one of the main roads that pass from here) full of lovely noisy vehicles that add daily to the never ending air pollution.

    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.

    Piazza Venezia Vittorio Emanuelle II monument Vittorio Emanuelle II monument
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    Via dei Fori Imperiali and Piazza Venezia

    by Jefie Updated Nov 24, 2014

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    For some reason, fascist dictator Benito Mussolini decided to build a road straight through the imperial forum area, extending from the Colosseum to Piazza Venezia. The construction of Via dei Fori Imperiali required the demolition of numerous houses, five churches, and several other ancient structures. Fascist military parades were frequently held on the avenue while Mussolini was in power, but after the new Republic of Italy came to life on June 2, 1946, these were soon replaced by annual Republic Day celebrations. Authorities did their best to make the street more appealing, and although they couldn't replace what had been destroyed during its construction, they did make it more pretty and, recently, part of the avenue was turned into a pedestrian street. The avenue offers really nice views of the different imperial forums, and its pedestrian section has been taken over by street entertainers and souvenir sellers. There's no denying that it's a very touristy part of the city, but the overall atmosphere is quite pleasant and very lively.

    Via dei Fori Imperiali ends at Piazza Venezia, around which two beautiful churches can be seen and visited (Santissimo Nome di Maria and Santa Maria di Loreto). It is also home to the larger than life Monument to Victor Emmanuel II (see my next tip), and it is perhaps the best place to see Trajan's Column. This column was built at the beginning of the 2nd century AD to celebrate the Roman emperor's victory in the Dacian Wars. The 30-m-tall structure features a spiral frieze that describes the military campaigns led by Trajan against the Dacians. A 185-step staircase is carved inside the column, which makes it one of the earliest ever built. The steps lead to an observation platform, which we can imagine was one of the city's earliest tourist attractions (!). There used to be a statue of Trajan on top of the column, but it somehow disappeared during the Middle Ages. A bonze statue of St. Peter was commissioned by Pope Sixtus V and placed on top of the column in 1587.

    Statue of Ceasar Augustus on Via dei Fori Imperial Forum of Trajan seen from Mussolini's street A side view of Piazza Venezia Trajan's column in front of the piazza's churches
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    Vittorio Emanuele II Monument

    by brendareed Written Jun 2, 2014

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    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 (2012) and is open daily from 0930-1930. The elevator is near the café in the back of the monument.

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    "Altare della Patria".

    by breughel Written Dec 25, 2013

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    The lower part of the Vittoriano monument with access by a stair case from Piazza Venezia is the "Altare della Patria" i.e. the grave of an unknown soldier from WW I. The body of the Unknown Soldier was chosen on 26 October 1921 from among 11 unknown remains by Maria Bergamas whose only child was killed during World War I. Her son's body was never recovered.
    Above stands the colossal equestrian statue of King Victor Emmanuel II.
    The flame is guarded by two soldiers called "il Picchetto d'Onore" (Guard of honnor).
    Visitors should be aware that sitting or picnicking on the stairs in front of this patriotic monument is prohibited as well as familiarities with the guards (they are not Mickey's from Disneyland!).

    One of my visits happened on a day with heavy rain showers so that the two guards were wearing a camouflage poncho protecting them partially from the rain. They were keeping a lance in the hand and wearing a black beret so that I supposed they were Lancers from an armored regiment. It has been a military custom in W. Europe after WW I to have Cavalry becoming armored forces and often wearing a black beret which started I think in the UK.

    I asked a third soldier who makes rounds of inspection to what regiment the Picchetto d'Onore belonged and he answered "Lancieri di Montebello" and added "Granatieri" and showed very proudly his shoulder badge with the emblem with four heads of blindfolded black men (testa di moro bendata) and the grenade which belongs to the "Granatieri (Grenadiers) di Sardegna" an elite Italian infantry regiment that goes back to 1852.
    What left me puzzled because I didn't understand why Lancers did wear the badge of the Grenadiers? That soldier spoke only Italian so that it was after some search that I found out that these Lancers of Montebello standing there in the rain belonged to the Mechanized Brigade of the Sardinian Grenadiers - Brigata "Granatieri di Sardegna" (garrison Rome) made up of the 1st Regiment "Granatieri di Sardegna", the armored Regiment "Lancieri di Montebello" and the Regiment of Artiglieria terrestre "Acqui".

    Has this review any interest for the "lambda tourist"? Probably less than the fact that the City of Rome has chased away from the Colosseo the centurions and other antic roman legionnaires who were earning, according to them, 50 - 100 €/day from tourists having a photo token with them.
    Photos in front of the Pichetto d'Onore with elite soldiers are still free.

    Altare della Patria. - Vittoriano. On guard in the sky. Badge of
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    Central square

    by solopes Updated Dec 18, 2013

    This is 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.

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    VITTORIANO - Climbing to the terrace.

    by breughel Updated Apr 12, 2013

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    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.

    Vittoriano - Altare Della Patria Vittoriano - inner staircase. Vittoriano - elevator - Aracoeli on the right. Vittoriano - cafeteria on terrace. Vittoriano - view from intermediate terrace.
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    Italy's Unknown Soldier Tomb

    by al_mary Updated Mar 3, 2013

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    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "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.

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    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

    by GentleSpirit Written Jan 28, 2013

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    The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of Italy is part of the Victor Emmanuel Monument. The remains of the unknown soldier were in place in 1921 with the body of an unknown italian soldier in World War I. There is an eternal flame and the monument is guarded by members of the Italian Armed Forces.

    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
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    Impressive but looks out of place!

    by zadunajska8 Written Nov 6, 2011

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    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.

    Vittorio Emanuele II Monument Vittorio Emanuele II Monument Vittorio Emanuele II Monument at night
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    Monument Vittorio Emanuel II

    by Turska Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II

    by eksvist Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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 ...

    Il Vittoriano in the dark Il Vittoriano the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the The Tyrrhenian Fountain Il Vittoriano at night

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    Il Vittoriano

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Il Vittoriano is a huge white marble monument at Piazza Venezia.

    It was built as a tribute for Victor Emmanuel II, who was the first king of a united Italy.

    It is not the prettiest of buildings but is certainly impressive and well worth a photo or two.

    I read that it is also called the "wedding cake" - I guess because it is big and white and over-the-top!!

    Il Vittoriano Il Vittoriano Il Vittoriano Il Vittoriano Il Vittoriano
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    Il Vittoriano

    by martin_nl Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

    Il Vittoriano
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