Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument Rome
Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument is a massive building made of white marble situated at the point where Piazza Venezia meets the Capitoline Hill.
This monument was built to honor Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. Giuseppe Sacconi designed Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument in 1895. It was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1925. They built this monument with pure white marble from Botticino, the province of Brescia.
This imposing and beautiful landmark has been a controversial building since the beginning of construction for a few reasons. Many people said it was too white and way too big. They were also angry because construction destroyed a large area of the Capitoline Hill. Many locals have dubbed the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument as the wedding cake and the Victorian typewriter.
It features majestic stairways, tall Corinthian columns and fountains. In the middle of the two sets of steps to the monument is an equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel. Two fountains that represent the Tyrrhenian Sea are on either side of the monument. At the top of the monument are two quadrigas representing Liberty and Unity.
Please know that sitting on the steps at the entrance is forbidden. There is a guard that will blow his whistle if you attempt to take a seat.
An eternal flame guarded by soldiers burns on this front terrace to mark the grave of an unknown soldier from WW I. There are two soldiers standing here 24/7, holding a lance in the hand and wearing a black beret.
Inside the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument there is a free museum. The museum is dedicated to the World War I. In the middle of the room, is the gun carriage used in 1921 for transporting the remains of the Unknown solder. Outside the museum is a terrace and café with wonderful views of Rome. There is free access to the terrace.
However there is glass elevator at the back of the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument. This takes you to the very top. It’s a superb opportunity to embrace and take some photos of the Eternal City. When I was visiting there was quite a line for the elevator. There is a seven Euro charge, but I consider it well worth it for a one-time visit. You can also take the stairs all the way up, but I don't recommend that option unless you are in fantastic shape.
Behind the monument are the Roman Forum and the Coliseum. In front of it is Via Corso, which in turn has the Trevi Fountain and The Spanish Steps to the right. The Vatican and Piazza Novona are to the left. Church of Santa Maria in Aracoelli is situated up against this monument. Upon exiting the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument you can go into the church with the high staircase next to the Capitoline Museum, without climbing the steps.