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Rome Attractions Vittoriano Monument (Altare della Patria)

The Symbol of Italian Unification: The Vittoriano Monument

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stand in the presence of a majestic monument that embodies a nation’s pride and heritage? Imagine yourself gazing up at the towering Vittoriano Monument in Rome, its gleaming white marble gleaming in the sunlight.

As you take in its grandeur, you can’t help but be intrigued by the rich history and controversies surrounding this iconic structure. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a breathtaking viewpoint of Rome, the Vittoriano Monument promises an unforgettable experience.

So, let’s embark on a journey to uncover the tales and secrets hidden within this architectural marvel.

History and Construction

The construction of the Vittoriano, also known as the Altare della Patria or Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, began in 1885 and was completed in 1911, making it a monumental tribute to Victor Emmanuel II, the first King of a united Italy.

The construction of the Vittoriano had its controversies. It sparked debates about historical preservation and its impact on ancient Rome. The monument was built in the heart of Rome, demolishing Roman ruins and medieval churches. This caused a significant uproar among Romans concerned about destroying their city’s rich history.

Additionally, there was an architectural competition to design the monument, with the French architect Henry Paul Nènot initially winning but being replaced by Giovanni Sacconi due to public backlash.

The architectural style of the Vittoriano is grand and imposing, with its large size and white marble construction.

Despite the controversies, the Vittoriano symbolizes Italy’s history and unity, showcasing its architectural prowess and paying homage to its first king.

Views and Terrace Access

Visitors can take advantage of a convenient lift at the back of the monument to access the breathtaking views and panoramic terrace of the Vittoriano. Here is what you need to know for an unforgettable experience:

  • 360 Degree View: Once you reach the top of the Vittoriano, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning 360-degree view of Rome. You can marvel at iconic landmarks such as the Vatican, Colosseum, and The Forum from this vantage point. The expansive skyline of Rome is visible from the top terrace, allowing you to capture breathtaking pictures of the city’s historic beauty.
  • Lift Access: The lift at the back of the monument provides a hassle-free way to reach the top terrace. To make the most of your visit, arriving early is advisable to avoid queues. The cost of going up to the top is just a few euros, making it a worthwhile investment for the incredible views.
  • Early Arrival: You increase your chances of having the terrace to yourself or with fewer crowds. This allows for a more peaceful and immersive experience, giving you ample time to soak in the historic beauty of Rome from this unique perspective.

Take advantage of the opportunity to witness Rome’s panoramic splendor from the top of the Vittoriano. Plan your visit, take advantage of the lift access, and prepare to be captivated by the 360-degree view and the opportunity to capture breathtaking pictures of Rome’s historic beauty.

Controversies and Criticisms

After experiencing the breathtaking views and panoramic terrace of the Vittoriano, it’s essential to acknowledge the controversies and criticisms surrounding this monumental structure.

One of the main controversies surrounding the Vittoriano is the preservation concerns raised by its construction. The monument was built in the heart of ancient Rome, leading to the demolition of Roman ruins and medieval churches. This sparked debates about the preservation of historical sites and the impact of modern construction on the city’s cultural heritage.

Another point of criticism is the architectural style of the Vittoriano. Some find its design imposing and out of place in the historic center of Rome. The monument was intended to compete architecturally with other great European cities. Still, its grandeur has been met with mixed public opinion.

Furthermore, the Vittoriano has been criticized for impacting the Rome skyline. Its massive size and bright white marble construction dominate the surrounding buildings. They can be seen from various points in the city. Some argue that it disrupts the aesthetic harmony of the cityscape.

Despite these controversies and criticisms, the Vittoriano holds significant historical significance as a symbol of Italy’s history and unity. It remains a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into the country’s past and providing a unique perspective of Rome’s architectural beauty.

Visitor Experiences

When visiting the Vittoriano, tourists are often captivated by the immersive and awe-inspiring experiences that await them. Here are three reasons why the visitor experiences at the Vittoriano are truly remarkable:

  • Architectural Significance: The Vittoriano is a testament to Italy’s history and unity. Its grandeur and imposing presence make it an architectural marvel. As you approach the monument, you’ll be struck by its massive size and intricate details, showcasing the skill and craftsmanship of its creators.
  • Photography Opportunities: The Vittoriano offers endless opportunities for capturing stunning photographs. From the panoramic terrace, you can capture breathtaking views of Rome’s iconic landmarks, such as the Colosseum and the Vatican. The monument is a magnificent subject, with its grand staircase, statues, and intricate carvings providing the perfect backdrop for memorable photos.
  • Historical Context and Cultural Impact: The Vittoriano is deeply rooted in Italy’s history. It was built to honor King Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of unified Italy. It represents the country’s journey towards unity and independence. Visiting the Vittoriano allows you to immerse yourself in Italy’s rich historical context and understand the cultural impact of this monumental structure.

Features and Design

As you explore the Vittoriano, you’ll be captivated by its impressive features and meticulously designed architecture, which serve as a testament to Italy’s rich history and cultural significance.

The construction of the Vittoriano faced numerous challenges, including the controversy surrounding its location in the heart of ancient Rome, resulting in the demolition of Roman ruins and medieval churches. The monument resulted from a fierce architectural competition, with Italian architect Giuseppe Sacconi winning the project.

The Vittoriano’s historical significance lies in its commemoration of King Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of unified Italy, and its representation of Italy’s unity and national identity. The artistic elements of the Vittoriano are evident in its grandeur and attention to detail, from the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II at the front of the building to the statues of Minerva, symbolizing Unity and Liberty.

Additionally, Vittoriano’s impact on the skyline of Rome can’t be overstated. Its colossal size, made of white Brescia marble and travertine, stands out against the cityscape and contrasts the surrounding architecture.

The Vittoriano is a true masterpiece that embodies Italy’s history, art, and architectural prowess.

Tips and Practicalities

To enhance your visit to the Vittoriano, here are some practical tips and helpful information to keep in mind:

Opening times:

  • The Vittoriano is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday.
  • From Friday to Sunday, it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • The last access to the panoramic terrace is 30 minutes before closing.

Ticket prices:

  • Entrance to the Vittoriano is free.
  • To access the panoramic terrace and enjoy the breathtaking views of Rome, you must purchase a ticket for €15.
  • This ticket is valid for seven days and includes access to the Museo del Risorgimento.

The Vittoriano provides accessible facilities for disabled visitors, including ramps and elevators. It also offers excellent photography opportunities, especially from the panoramic terrace, where you can capture stunning 360-degree views of Rome’s skyline.

Plan your visit accordingly, arrive early to avoid long queues, and maximize your time at this magnificent monument.

While exploring the Vittoriano and indulging in its panoramic views, you’ll be delighted to discover that there are several popular attractions in Rome located nearby. From the top of the Vittoriano, you’ll have access to some of the best viewpoints in the city, where you can witness the breathtaking beauty of Rome’s iconic landmarks.

With its majestic St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican stands out in the distance, showcasing its architectural significance and historical context. The Colosseum, a symbol of ancient Rome’s grandeur, can also be seen from the Vittoriano, reminding you of the city’s rich cultural impact.

Once the center of political and social life, the Roman Forum lies nearby, offering a glimpse into the city’s fascinating past. The Palatine Hill, situated between the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus, also provides archaeological sites and panoramic views of Rome’s enchanting landscape.

These nearby landmarks complement Vittoriano’s grandeur, creating a comprehensive experience that combines Rome’s historical, cultural, and architectural wonders.


In conclusion, the Vittoriano Monument in Rome is a breathtaking symbol of Italy’s history and unity. Its grandeur and architectural beauty make it a popular attraction for visitors worldwide.

Its panoramic views of Rome from the top terrace offer a unique perspective of the city’s iconic landmarks. Interestingly, statistics show that the Vittoriano Monument receives an average of 5 million visitors annually, solidifying its status as a must-see destination in Rome.

What is the Vittoriano Monument?

The Vittoriano Monument, also known as the Altar of the Fatherland, is a national monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. It is located in Rome and stands as a symbol of Italian unification.

When Was the Vittoriano Monument Built?

The construction of the Vittoriano Monument began in 1885 and was completed in 1911. It was inaugurated on June 4, 1911, as part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Italian unification.

Who Designed the Vittoriano Monument?

The Vittoriano Monument was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi, an Italian architect who won a national competition to design this monument.

What Are Some Distinctive Features of the Vittoriano Monument?

The monument is made from white marble and features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, and equestrian sculptures of Victor Emmanuel II and other important figures from Italy’s unification process. At its center is an altar with an eternal flame, kept lit in memory of Italy’s unknown soldier from World War I.

Can Visitors Access All Areas of the Vittoriano Monument? 

Visitors can explore most of this monument, including climbing its panoramic terraces for a stunning view over Rome. However, due to respect for its symbolic significance and respect for Italy’s unknown soldiers memorialized there, certain areas may have restricted access.

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