Victor Emmanuel Monument - Monumento Vittorio Emanuele, Rome

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  • Granatieri in historical uniform.
    Granatieri in historical uniform.
    by breughel
  • Tomb of unknown soldier from WW I
    Tomb of unknown soldier from WW I
    by breughel
  • Italian soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknown
    Italian soldiers guarding the Tomb of...
    by Jefie
  • breughel's Profile Photo

    VITTORIANO Monument and terrace.

    by breughel Updated Jan 12, 2015

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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. 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 Basilica 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 €, reduced 3,50 €) 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.

    Equestrian statue of King Victor Emmanuel II. Tomb of unknown soldier from WW I View on Colosseum from the terrace.
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    "Granatieri di Sardegna" guard of honor.

    by breughel Updated Jan 11, 2015

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    It happens by the circumstances that I'm somewhat more interested in military history than others so that when I enter the Vittoriano by the steps climbing to the "Altare della Patria" I look at who is on guard at the Unknown Soldier Tomb. On my recent visit it were the Lancers of Montebello belonging to the Brigata "Granatieri di Sardegna" a mechanized brigade with HQ and garrison in Rome.

    It might sound as a paradox but these Grenadiers from Sardinia are fulfilling an important number of Guards of Honor in Rome. Not only at the Vittoriano monument but also at the Senato della Repubblica at Palazzo Madama. They are often participating dressed in their historical uniform to parades.
    I know a bit of their history because a member of the family of my wife served as reserve officer at the Granatieri. Being a tall man he was often appointed as officer of guard at the Senate.
    What I find special is the very distinguishable symbol on the left arm of their jacket (see photo). The badge with four blindfolded Moors heads is the symbol of the Grenadiers and represents the old flag of Sardinia. Its origins are linked to events in the history of Sardinia and represent four most important victories won by the population of the Island Sardinia over the Saracens.
    The Sards celebrated their victories by cutting of the heads of the 4 Emirs who commanded the invading troops, maybe after blindfolding them. I noted that Corsica has the same emblem with one Moor head but not blindfolded!

    The historical banner of the Sards was substituted by the Italian tricolor in 1848 but is still worn as shoulder badge with addition of a grenade by the regiments of the Mechanized Brigade "Granatieri di Sardegna" including the "Lancieri di Montebello" (ref my previous tip) and the Regiment of Artillery "Acqui".

    Granatieri in historical uniform. Shoulder badge of Granatieri Brigade.
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    A monument definitely fit for a king!

    by Jefie Updated Nov 24, 2014

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    This massive white marble monument, inaugurated in 1911, was built in honour of King Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of unified Italy. Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the monument has received its fair share of criticism ever since its construction, mostly on acount of its size and also because of its style, which is often perceived as too pompous and too conspicuous. It's true that in a smallish city such as Rome, the monument does stand out: you can basically see it anytime you climb one the city's hills, and it appears on most of my panoramic pics of the city. Perhaps that's part of the reason why they installed a glass elevator that takes visitors to the top of the monument. The attraction is called "Rome from the Sky" and tickets cost 7 Euros, which I'm assuming is a reasonable price to pay to have a few monument-free pics.

    But since I didn't think the monument was that terrible (in fact, I thought it looked rather nice, albeit a little out of place), I was happy to keep my 7 Euros and look at the monument from the ground. In 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown soldier was added to the monument, next to which burn two eternal flames. The monument is known under different names such as "Altare della Patria" and "Il Vittoriano", but also under many rather unflattering nicknames such as the "typewriter", "false teeth" and, perhaps most famously, the "wedding cake", which is how American soldiers referred to it during World War II. They used it as a reference point since it was easier to spot from the sky than the Colosseum.

    Monument to Victor Emmanuel II on Piazza Venezia View  from the first few steps of the monument One of the Italian soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknown One of the monument's eternal flames
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    Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II

    by GracesTrips Updated Nov 2, 2014

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    Whoah! This is HUGE to say the least! A monument to honor the first king of a unified Italy, Victor Emmanuel. You can't miss it if you're on your way to the Roman Forum.

    Designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885, it was completed in 1935. The monument holds the Tomb of the Unknown Solder with an eternal flame.

    It is quite the spectacle to see. So, you gotta see it!

    Open Daily 9:30am-4:30pm (opened later during the summer). No charge for admission. Exit the Colosseo metro station.

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    The View from Above

    by goodfish Updated Oct 22, 2014

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    This poor monument to the first king of a unified Italy is as big on controversy as it is on bulk. Construction of this behemoth, about a century ago, involved cutting into a good section of Capitoline Hill at the expense of well-preserved medieval ruins, and its enormous facade of pure-white marble is judged by some to be gaudy and pretentious next to the muted colors and smaller scale of the structures around it. Michelangelo might cringe to see this overblown neighbor next to his elegant, perfectly proportioned Piazza del Campidoglio.

    Its location on the ancient acropolis - over the previous remains of a papal villa - visibility, sheer size and defiant facing toward the general direction of the Vatican also created a intentionally pointed challenge to the dominant power of state over church. Indeed, it even has an altar, ’Altare della Patria or ‘Altar of the Fatherland,’ to further accentuate that point. Fascist Dictator Mussolini adopted the pile as a symbol of totalitarian strength, and the piazza - where his headquarters were also located - was a favorite staging ground for fiery speeches, parades and rallies. As part of his revolutionary building program, he also ordered the creation of the grand avenue, Via dei Fori Imperiali, which runs from the Colosseum and Forum to the Vittoriano as a symbolic link of old Roman power to new.

    Although it has a free museum highlighting the history of unification and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, what this monument does best is offer stupendous viewing from its upper terraces. Access the first (and free) one from inside the building, up several flights of stairs: just follow everyone else. There is a large cafe on this level as well as restrooms - the 'pay the attendant' type - and great views of the Rome. For a REAL eyeful buy a ticket here (7 euro) for the glass elevator to the very top terrace for a panorama of the Eternal City that will take your breath away.

    As there are other excellent overlooks of Rome, this can be a skip if time is short but at least give the free terrace a go if you're visiting Capitoline Hill and aren't in a hurry. The pile is also impressively lit at night and so is good for an evening walk-by. Do be aware that this is one of those places where you don't want to sit on the steps, lean on the columns, smoke, roughhouse, eat or drink (except in the cafe), etc. The guards will blow little whistles at you if you don't display the proper amount of respect for this important symbol of Italian unity.

    Monument info:
    http://www.060608.it/en/cultura-e-svago/beni-culturali/beni-architettonici-e-storici/monumento-a-vittorio-emanuele-ii-vittoriano.html

    Elevator:
    http://www.060608.it/en/cultura-e-svago/beni-culturali/beni-architettonici-e-storici/ascensori-panoramici-e-terrazza-del-complesso-del-vittoriano.html

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  • Quirite's Profile Photo

    Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II

    by Quirite Written Oct 22, 2014

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    As a local, I'd just like to point out that we Romans don't hate the Monument in question for it is of great national (it is dedicated to the first King of a united Italy and is home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier), historical and artistic importance. The only people who give it unflattering nicknames are guidebook writers and the tourists who rely on their erroneous information!

    It should also be noted that calling it names is disrespectful.

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Vittorio Emanuele II monument

    by toonsarah Written Sep 14, 2014

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    Also known as the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), this is perhaps a “love it or hate it” structure, variously dubbed a giant wedding cake, typewriter or even pisciatoio nazionale (national urinal)! It was built at the end of 19th century to honour Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the newly unified Italy. It is brash, unapologetically pompous, and necessitated the partial destruction of the Capitoline Hill – all reasons to hate it. But its very pomposity is somewhat endearing and as a symbol of “modern” (i.e. not ancient) Rome, it is hard to miss. On a bright blue-skied day its white marble gleams and Victor Emmanuel II himself rides proudly in front, with Victory riding on quadrigas at each end of the monument itself.

    The monument is home to the tomb of Italy’s Unknown Soldier, buried here in November 1921, in front of which burns an eternal flame. A museum tells the story of Italian unification. It is possible to take a lift to the top (fee €7) for what are apparently great views of the city, but our time here was too limited on this visit – something else for the “next time in Rome” list.

    Altare della Patria Quadriga Vittorio Emanuele II Tourists at the monument
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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Museum of the Resorgimento.

    by breughel Updated Feb 15, 2014

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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.

    The museum is open from 9 am to 6.30 pm and museum admission is free.
    Outside the museum is a terrace (and cafeteria) with wonderful views on the centre of Rome.

    Museum of the Resorgimento.
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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Monumento Vittorio Emanuele II

    by gwened Written Aug 26, 2013

    This is a huge monument commemorating the end of the royal period and the king who helped shape the Italian Repubblica today.

    the building is huge with huge stairs and then you enter a cupola with stairs that takes you up with a great view of Rome,and a nice cafe, you can climb an elevator/lift to see even higher for 7€.

    There is a museum inside of the Risorgimento but we did not try it. a bit more of this monument, not really in the Italian first mind...

    This imposing monument of white marble, the Vittoriano, was built between 1885 and 1927 in honour of the unified Italy, under its first King, Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy. It is a building of neoclassical style designed by Giuseppe Sacconi. It is accessed through a wide staircase, occupied half by the Monument to the unknown soldiers, "Altar of the fatherland", where buried a soldier of the first world war, remembrance of the countless remained unburied dead fallen during the great war which are or have never been identified. A statue of the King of 12 meters of height is placed before the very large portico. Inside the Monument, is the Central of the Risorgimento Museum. This monument, poorly housed, is still little loved by the Romans because of its imposing mass that broke with the harmony of the other buildings and that hides the forum. Locals often call it the "typewriter"!

    Something to see and compare, I did agree with the above that it is place in a too old area to mingle with something totally out of place.

    Monument Vittorio Emanuele II ceiling columns left side ceiling columns right side arriving monument vittorio emanuele II views of  Roma from top of monument.
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    The Monument to Victor Emmanuel II

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jun 23, 2013

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    This monument has been likened to a giant typewriter and a giant wedding cake. It was built to commemorate the unifiction of Italy. It is unpopular because building it resulted in destroying several important sights and it changed the shape of the Capitoline Hill. You can go up to the top by elevator for 7Euro. I got onto the lower free viewing platform from the Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli. There were great views from here.

    The other thing we liked about this sight was it was a great landmark for finding your way. We encountered it every time we got lost and immediately knew where we were.

    The Monument to Victor Emmanuel II. View from the monument. View from the monument.
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    Roma dal Cielo – Terrazza delle Quadrighe, Italy

    by TrendsetterME Updated Jun 4, 2013

    The panoramic Terrace of the Quadrigas—between the two bronze chariots that crown the monument—is uncrowded, open to the sky, and, given its sturdy base, not at all vertiginous.

    There are views in every direction, but most breathtaking are those to the south, over the green archaeological zones of the Roman and imperial forums, the Colosseum, and the Palatine. Note that you must climb dozens of marble steps to get to the level where the elevator takes you to the top.

    Love it or hate it, the glacial white marble monument to Vittorio Emanuele II in Piazza Venezia is the most central place in Rome for city views. Thanks to a special new glass elevator, visitors can now reach the uppermost terrace of the behemoth built from 1885 to 1911 to honor the first king of unified Italy.

    Admission is 10.- Euro for adults and 5.- Euro for kids, free for children under 10 and its open daily 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

    Dont forget to shoot lots of photos as u gonna have a spectacular view of Rome at the Terrace, enjoy ... :)

    Roma dal Cielo, Terrazza delle Quadrighe, Italy Roma dal Cielo, Terrazza delle Quadrighe, Italy Roma dal Cielo, Terrazza delle Quadrighe, Italy Roma dal Cielo, Terrazza delle Quadrighe, Italy Roma dal Cielo, Terrazza delle Quadrighe, Italy
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    Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome

    by TrendsetterME Updated Jun 4, 2013

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    The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II) or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Motherland) or "Il Vittoriano" is a monument built to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill.

    The monument was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885; sculpture for it was parceled out to established sculptors all over Italy, such as Leonardo Bistolfi and Angelo Zanelli. It was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1935.

    The monument is built of white marble from Botticino, Brescia, and features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. The structure is 135m wide and 70m high. If the quadrigae and winged victories are included, the height is to 81 m. The base of the structure houses the museum of Italian Reunification. In 2007, a panoramic elevator was added to the structure, allowing visitors to ride up to the roof for 360 degree views of Rome.

    One of the "must see" spots of Rome ... :)

    Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome
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    "Altare della Patria - Il Picchetto d'Onore".

    by breughel Updated May 17, 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!).

    My visit 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.

    Honor Guard by Lancers of Montebello. Inspection of the Honor Guard. Lancers on parade in Rome. (photo from web). Lancer with Grenadiers Brigade badge.
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    Victor Emmanuel monument

    by GentleSpirit Updated May 16, 2013

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    It seems that Italians don't have very nice things to say about this monument, usually calling it a wedding cake or a typewriter. This gigantic (135x70 meters) slab of marble was completed in 1925 and honors united Italy's first king, Victor Emmanuel of the House of Savoy.

    Below the sculpture representing Italy is the Tomb of the Unknown Solider which holds an unknown from World War I.

    There is also the mounted statue of Victor Emmanuel at the center.

    In 2000 it was reopened to the public, free of charge.

    Equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel
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    Grand tomb of the unnamed soldier

    by clareabee Written Feb 10, 2013

    This monument is visible from many places in central Rome and we used it as a marker for navigating about the city.
    This is a monument built in honour of Victor Emanuel, the first king of a unified Rome and is also home to the tomb of the unknown soldier, where an eternal flame is always burning. The soldier buried here was chosen from 11 unidentified bodies by a lady who had lost her only son in battle. He was buried here in a state funeral on the 4th November 1921.
    The momument has received much criticism and has been called both the wedding cake and the typewriter as it is thought to be a little ostentatious. It also stands out as it is bright white and doesn't really blend in with the other buildings - all the same it certainly is grand and worth a look and there is an excellent lift to a viewing platform - even on a rainy day the views are good. There is a pictoral guide which details all the buildings that you can see.

    pictoral diagram of buildings view from the top
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