Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II – “Vittoriano”, Rome

The Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II which is also known as the “Vittoriano” rises from the foot of the Capitol Hill. The huge white building stands majestically with the two Quadrigas rising up from either side of the roof of the building,‘Quadriga of Liberty’ and ‘Quadriga of Unity’ (Zanelli). In the centre is the “Altar of the Fatherland”, crowned by the statue of Rome, at whose feet lies the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”, who was brought here and buried on 4th November 1921 in a ceremony which involved the entire country, the ceremony took place in the presence of King Victor Emanuele II. There are elaborate bas-reliefs on the base which represent the most famous Italian cities. The amount and quality of the statues on the exterior of the building is amazing and can be viewed as an open air museum itself. Low down on the left hand side you will find the ‘Fountain of the Adriatic’. A little further up are two sculptural groups of powerfully symbolistic inspiration’Strength’ and ‘Concord’. At the foot of the steps is a guilded bronze group depicting ‘Thought’with the Goddess Minerva helping a figure to her feet who symbolises the Italian people. Whereas another similarly guilded group depicts ‘Action’. There are also statues representing the different Regions of Italy on the 16 columns of the portico, standing over 5 metres high.

The Gallery is named ‘Il Vittoriano’ after King Victor Emmanuel II and the equestrian statue at thefront of the building weighs 50 tons and is cast in bronze. On entering the hallway is high and steps lead off to all the various levels. On the first floor there is the Sacarium of the Flags, set up to contain all the flags used during the battles for the unity and independence of Italy.Upstairs the galleryis exclusively dedicated to the First World War and contains the gun-carriage used to carry the body of the unknown soldier. A large statue of a mounted general leading his men into battle is surrounded by pictures and historical mementos. In a glass case there is the Pen and Ink-well used to sign the Armistice at Villa Giusti on 3rd November 1918. There are wonderful views over the ancient buildings of Rome from the roof. You are able to take in the views of the roman ruins across to the coloseum and picture how life looked in Ancient Rome. You can see the Arch of Constantine and the Roman Forum other remaining structures are the Tabularium, Gemonian stairs, Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vespasian and Titus, Arch of Septimius Severus,Curia Julia, Rostra, Basilica Aemilia,Forum Main Square, Basilica Iulia,Temple of Caesar, Regia, Temple of Castor and Pollux, Temple of Vesta.

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