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Published on March 28, 2018 by fromhometorome

Piazza Venezia is literally dominated by the imposing white mass of the national monument dedicated to Victor Emanuel II, better known as Vittoriano. It was built to celebrate the Unification of Italy in 1860 and Victor Emanuel II, the Father of the Country, as well. The building was fixed by King Umberto I in 1878 with a royal decree and a national competition to select the best project: according to the prerequisites required, the architect had to be Italian and the project include an equestrian statue of Victor Emanuel II. Between many, the project chosen was the Giuseppe Sacconi one, and the construction of the monument that today closes via del Corso began in 1885. After the many demolitions needed to make space for the new monument, a first inauguration took place in 1911; the altar was later completed in 1935 by three architects, Gaetano Koch, Manfredo Manfredi and Pio Piacentini, who took over Sacconi after his death. The immense altar shows the equestrian bronze statue of Victor Emanuel II in the middle, with two fountains on the side representing the Tyrrhenian and the Adriatic Seas; the other numerous sculptures represent allegory of Victory, Love for the Country and Unity.After the First World War, the monument became the Altar of the Nation and the Grave of the Unknown soldier as well. Not really loved by the Romans, it is ironically called typewriter or wedding cake because of the exaggerated dimension and the excessive whiteness due to the marble used.

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