Rome’s traffic hub is dominated by the mighty The National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II (Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II in Italian), which the Romans also like to call »the typewriter«.
The gigantic snow-white national monument was built between 1885 and 1911 to plans by Giuseppe Sacconi in order to celebrate the unity of Italy achieved in 1870 and to honour the memory of the first Italian king, Vittorio Emanuele II (1878) whose equestrian statue was made out of bronze.
The huge monument is 70m/230ft high, 135m/443ft long and 130m/427ft wide, but opinions about its beauty vary widely. The »Altar of the Fatherland« is halfway up and, since 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with eternal lamps, flags and coats of arms has been at the centre.
Museo Centrale del Risorgimento
In the eastern part of the monument, the Museo Centrale del Risorgimento (entrance Via San Pietro in Carcere) provides information about the history of Italy from the 18th century to the First World War (opening hours: Tue-Sun 9am-1.30pm).
Piazza Venezia: Museo di Palazzo Venezia
On the west side of the piazza is Palazzo Venezia, which, in its present form, was started in 1451 by Cardinal Pietro Barbo, later Pope Paul II, was continued by several architects and completed in 1491. This fortress-like Renaissance palace houses the museum of the State Institute for Archaeology and Art History.
In addition, various art exhibitions are held here. As the name indicates, this elegant palace belonged to the Republic of Venice from 1594 to 1797; it then became the Austrian embassy, and, during the Fascist era, was the government seat of Mussolini – from the central balcony, the Duce made speeches full of pathos. Among other exhibits, the museum displays marble sculptures, weapons, tapestry and paintings, busts and terracotta models, applied arts and prints such as the world map in the Sala del Mappamondo.
Basilica di San Marco
According to tradition, the church was founded by Pope Mark in 336 in honour of the evangelist Mark. Restorations and reconstruction around 800 and in the 15th and 18th centuries gave the basilica its current appearance beside and as part of Palazzo Venezia.
In view of the fact that the Venetian mission to the Holy See was based in the palace from 1564 to 1797 and that Mark is the patron saint of Venice, the building thus appears to have fulfilled its destiny. Inside, the apse mosaic from the time of Gregory IV (827-844), Christ Hands Over God’s Law, is noteworthy.
Colosseum Rome Tickets & Tours:
Colosseum to Piazza Venezia:
Piazza Venezia set in the center of Rome, 2 km from (15 min walk) from Colosseum.