L’altare della patria, a breathtaking view





Georgeous example of what I define a “breathtaking view”!!!

Inaugurated in 1911 to pay respect to Victor Emmanuel II, the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II is an imposing building located in Piazza Venezia.  The ‘Altar of the Fatherland’ (Altare della Patria) is the largest national monument in Italy: the colossal monument, which is 135 meters wide and 70 meters high, is comprised of scores of majestic Corinthian columns and endless stairs, all carved in white marble.  The top is crowned with an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel cast in bronze and two chariots driven by the goddess Victoria.

The monument was strongly criticized at its construction, since it was necessary to knock down numerous valuable buildings to make sufficient space, and Italian citizens did not agree with the idea of having such an eye-catching and elaborate building next to the other classical buildings that surround it. When this monstrosity was built, it occupied and destroyed part of the Capitol, the central and sacred hill of Ancient Rome. The hill still rises behind it, and the Vittoriano’s terraces can generally be reached via the Campidoglio (the modern Capitol), and sometimes, when the church is open, from the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, some surviving Roman ruins can still be seen at the base of the Vittoriano.

Romans don’t much admire the Vittoriano, often refer to it as ‘the wedding cake’. Still I love it!

The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the most eye-catching buildings of the whole city. Its impressive dimensions and the sight of the sun reflected on its white marble make it the subject of thousands of photographs taken by tourists each day.

Definitely  cannot be ignored!

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