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 Essential Architecture-  ROME

The Vittoriano Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II


Giuseppe Sacconi


Rome, Italy




wedding-cake neo-classical


white marble


  The monument of Victor Emmanuel II

Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II (Monument of Victor Emmanuel II) or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Nation) or "Il Vittoriano" is a monument located in Rome, Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. The monument was designed and built by Giuseppe Sacconi between 1895 and 1911 to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of unified Italy.

The monument is built of pure white marble and features majestic stairways, tall corinthian columns, fountains, a huge equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. The monument holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of Italy after World War I. The base of the structure also houses the museum of Italian Reunification.

The monument is controversial. Its construction destroyed a large area of Capitoline Hill housing a Medieval neighbourhood. The building itself is often regarded as pompous and too large. It is clearly visible to most of the city of Rome despite being boxy in general shape and lacking a dome or a tower. The monument is also glaringly white, making it highly conspicuous amidst the generally brownish buildings surrounding it, and its stacked, crowded nature has lended it several derogatory nicknames, among them "the wedding cake" and "the typewriter."

A new passageway connects Piazza del Campidoglio to the terraces of the Vittoriano which offer a breathtaking view of the city. The Vittoriano, also monument to Victor Emanuel II, first king of Italy, is now completely open to the public free of charge, including the Museum-Sanctuary of the Flags of the Armed Forces and the Museum of the Risorgimento that are housed in its interior. The monument was inaugurated in 1911 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the unification of Italy and since 1921 has been the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.