Vittoriano

- Roma Viva.

Vittoriano

The Vittoriano. This immense monument is sometimes called the Victor Emmanuel Monument as it was constructed in honor of the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emmanuele II. Dominating Piazza Venezia, it was built by Giuseppe Sacconi in the early 20th century and is possibly the most debated monument in Rome: although admired by tourists, it is despised by critics because of its dimensions, its style and the marble used to finish it.

It was built by a government that wanted to give a sense of cultural, linguistic and spiritual identity to the newly unified Italian nation; in effect, this gigantic monument symbolically linked the modern city with the ancient Forums and the Colosseum of Imperial Rome. The classical style echoes the great temples of the ancient world. As you climb the steps, you are led past allegorical statues and symbolic friezes right up into the heart of the building where the great equestrian statue of the King of Italy stands. From the highest portico you can see the entire city, just as the King of Italy overlooked the capital of his newly-born Italian nation. Members of the different armed forces guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, placed here after the First World War to commemorate those who had died for their country. Going from the terrace of the Vittoriano, through the side portico of the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, you will reach the Arx Capitolina.
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