Chiara Bianchi

Monument to Victor Emmanuel II: A Traveler's Guide

Exploring the grandeur of Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II and nearby culinary delights in Rome's Centro Storico.

Centro Storico Attraction
The imposing Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II in Rome's historic center
Photo by Photo by Alex Does Pictures

Ah, Rome! A city where history whispers from every corner, and the Vittoriano is no exception. Towering over Piazza Venezia, the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II isn't just a grand structure; it's a symphony of stone, a testament to Italy's unification, and a controversial masterpiece that's stirred more debates than a Roman senate session. If you're keen to unearth the stories behind its gleaming white façades, join me on this journey through time and marble.

Is it worth visiting Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II  

Whether it's worth visiting the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II ultimately depends on your interests and the type of experiences you enjoy while traveling. As an iconic landmark in Rome, the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II offers several compelling reasons to visit.

That said, some travelers may find it less appealing if they have limited time in Rome or are more interested in specific types of attractions, such as ancient Roman ruins or art museums. 

Everything You Need to Know Before Your Visit

Nestled in the heart of Rome's Centro Storico, the Vittoriano is hard to miss. If you're wandering around Piazza Venezia, congratulations, you've found it! For those relying on public transport, numerous buses stop nearby, and the closest metro station is Colosseo on Line B. No entry fee, folks, but you'll need to pay a few euros to access the elevator to the viewing platform. It's open daily, but hours can be a bit whimsical, so double-check before you go.

Guided Tours

While wandering around the Vittoriano on your own is impressive, guided tours offer that extra zest. You'll get insights into its controversial history, artistic significance, and juicy anecdotes that you won't find in guidebooks. Plus, it's always nice to have an expert answer your barrage of questions, right?

Tips for Visitors

Historical Background

Conceived as a tribute to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of a united Italy, the Vittoriano's construction kicked off in 1885. Now, imagine the uproar it caused - demolishing a medieval neighborhood to make way for this behemoth! It was completed in 1935, long after its muse had passed. The monument has been a magnet for controversy, often dubbed "the wedding cake" or "the typewriter" for its unique design. Yet, despite the mixed feelings, it's undeniably a powerful symbol of Italy's tumultuous journey to unification and modernity.

Architecture and Design (Including Viewing Platforms)

Neoclassicism on steroids - that's the Vittoriano. Drawing inspiration from ancient Roman architecture, it's adorned with columns, grand stairways, and statues galore, including the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. The central part of the monument holds the Altar of the Fatherland, a revered site. But here's the real kicker: the panoramic viewing platforms. Climb (or take the elevator) to the top, and Rome unfolds before you like a living history book. From the Colosseum to the domes of distant churches, it's a view that's worth every step.

Nearby Attractions

The Vittoriano isn't just a standalone marvel. It's surrounded by a treasure trove of historical sites. Just a stone's throw away, you've got the ancient Roman Forum, where the echoes of Rome's past resonate. Climb up the Capitoline Hill for a rendezvous with statues and museums. And don't forget the Palatine Hill, where Rome's legendary story began. Each site is a chapter in Rome's grand narrative.

5 Interesting Facts about Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II  

After marveling at the grandeur of Il Vittoriano, a stroll through the nearby cobblestone streets is a must. Each corner here tells a story, each piazza a chapter in Rome's extensive history. And let's not forget the food! The Centro Storico is dotted with eateries ranging from traditional trattorias to modern cafes, each offering a unique taste of Rome.

My 3 Favorite Places to Eat Near Il Vittoriano

  1. Trattoria da Cesare: A traditional spot known for its authentic Roman cuisine. Their Cacio e Pepe is a must-try – simple yet packed with flavor.
  2. La Tavernetta 48: A cozy restaurant with a charming ambiance. They serve up some of the best seafood pasta and risottos in the city.
  3. Antico Forno Roscioli: Perfect for a quick bite, this historic bakery offers delicious pizzas, breads, and pastries that are hard to resist.

So, whether you're a history buff, a food enthusiast, or both, the area around Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Buon appetito!