Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
Vittorio Emanuele II Monument is an attraction in Rome that was constructed to honor Victor Emanuele, the first king of unified Italy. The National Monument in Rome is known by several names including the National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II and the Altare della Patria. Although public opinions have been mixed concerning what some would consider the ostentatious design of the monument, its size and scope make it hard to ignore, and it is regularly included in various guided tours of the city’s main attractions. The massive monument stands a formidable 230 feet high and 443 feet wide. Corinthian columns, broad fountains, wide staircases, and a statue of Vittorio Emanuele upon his horse are all on display. It was designed by the architect Giuseppe Sacconi in 1895, and was constructed between 1911 and 1935. Not only is the construct itself impressive, but so is the view from the Vittorio Emanuele Monument.
It is interesting, considering the fact that the view from the Vittorio Emanuele Monument of the city is so compelling, that most Romans who complain about the imposing and blank whiteness of the building argue that it is as much a problem as it is, because of the fact you one can see if from virtually anywhere from around the city. Despite what a number of residents may think, most tourists of Rome simply see the National Monument in Rome as another one of the impressive attractions, complete with intricate engravings, impressive statuary, and beautiful art.
The entire Vittorio Emanuele II Monument is made with white marble from the province of Brescia in Lombardy. It is a shining white that does not sit well with some residents and opinionated tourists, as it tends to stand out starkly amongst the other buildings, many of which have been around for centuries, and their brownish hues. Besides the color of the National Monument in Rome, the other bit of controversy came from the fact that much of the Capitoline Hill and the neighborhood that existed on it had to be destroyed to make way for the massive monument.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is another of the main attractions at the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. There is a flame that burns in honor of the soldier chosen from the remains of eleven unknown soldiers killed in WWI. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is generally meant to honor all of the fallen Italian soldiers of WWI. If you plan to visit, be sure to take time to enjoy the enthralling view from the Vittorio Emanuele Monument.
The monument opens every day at 10 a.m. and closes one hour before sunset. It is easily accessible using public transportation and there are a number of restaurants, cafes, and hotels in the area. You can spend the whole day leisurely walking around the city, taking in fairly nearby attractions like the Forum, Pantheon, and Circus Maximus, and also enjoy shopping and dining in one of the most charming and ancient of all cities in Europe. Via del Corso is an excellent shopping spot and is not far off either.