A Tourist in Rome - Victor Emmanuel Monument
|Location:||Between Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill, across Via dei Fori Imperiali from Trajan's Column|
|Metro:||Colosseo, or see it on my To the Forum Boarium and Beyond Walking Tour instead|
|Time:||about 20 minutes for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 40 minutes more if you ride the elevator to the roof, 40 minutes more if you wish to walk through the museum|
|Cost:||Free for everthing except the elevator to the roof, which costs €7|
|Hours:||Viewable at any time from the street, beautifully lit at night, anything more is from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM, open later during summer and weekends|
The Victor Emmanuel Monument is a huge white marble monument built to honor Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. It is one of the tallest structures in the city, and being made of a very bright white stone it is easily visible from most hills and tall lookouts around Rome. The nearest metro stop is Colosseo, and this is the starting point for my To the Forum Boarium and Beyond Walking Tour. The monument, 230 feet tall and 443 feet wide, consists of a large flight of stairs leading up to a massive colonnade. At the center of the monument is a colossal statue of Victor Emmanuel, and at the foot of that statue lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame and military guards (lower-right photo). Many other statues are found on the monument: some bronze, some marble (2nd and 3rd photos below). Inside the monument is the Museum of Italian Reunification (the Risorgimento). The monument was designed in 1885, inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1935. Many people don't like the monument because its construction destroyed part of the Capitoline Hill, it is regarded as pompous and too large, it stands out as the only bright white structure in the city of earth-colored structures, and because it is often considered as ugly. Nicknames for the monument include "the typewriter" and "the wedding cake". Despite the fact that I tend to agree with these criticisms, I have to admit that it is one of the best places to get a superb panoramic view of Rome. Steps take you about half-way up the monument, and from there you can get a good view of the local neighborhood. But for €7 you can ride up an elevator to the roof of the monument where the views are spectacular (4th photo below, and panorama at the bottom).