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Vittoriano, Altar of the Fatherland

II Vittoriano, a white marbled monument in Rome (Italy), was completed during Mussolini’s rule and it was received many criticisms. During its construction, it destroyed some part of the Capitoline Hill and historical area. Additionally its architecture design was considered different compared to the rest of historical buildings around Rome. Before my visit, I have read some articles mentioned that the monument has several nick names that showing the dislikes towards its architecture style, such as  “the False Teeth” and “the Type Writer”. The Romans called the building as ‘torta nuzziale’ (wedding cake) building. Do you think its looks like a wedding cake? I can imagine it was because of the multi-levels of the building. Additionally, the building was not in favor of the Romans because it has boxy and white colored architecture that was not considered blend in to its surrounding landscape. Due to its super white color, this monument had to get “clean up” several times.

Aside to political propaganda during the Mussolini’s regime in which I am not going to discuss here, the monument was aimed to honor Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy, and later on, to honor the first World War victims. There is a tomb of the unknown soldier from the war under a statue called as Dea Roma. The tomb is guarded by two military officers to show respect and in honoring the service of the unknown soldiers. I believe it is a common value shared by military corps around the world.

There are several statues crafted by Italian artists in the 19th centuries to represent the values of unified Italy. Quite provoking statues. Visitors also allowed to climb up to the top of the monument to see Rome from above, with entrance fee. Inside of the monument is a museum with showcase of Italian flag and historical mementos.

It was estimated there were 2 millions visitors visited the monument every year. It is large number of visitors but when we were there, the monument was not as crowded as other touristic places in Rome. I recommend to include this monument when you are going to visit Campidoglio and Roman Forum as its location is close to each other.

If you wish to climb up to the top of monument then you have to pay the lift service ticket but the monument and museum are free entrance.

Two seagulls guarding the monument

Two seagulls guarding the monument

Practical Information

Piazza Venezia, Roma, Italy
Opening Time:
Every day from 9:30 to 17:30

Bus Halte to stop:
Ara Coeli- Piazza Venezia
Attractions nearby:
Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, Campidoglio, Roman Forum


  1. false teeth and other nick names are interesting – and crazy to hear the controversy Indah – I have a show in the DVR about Mussolini and so the timing of your post is spot on for me! that looks like a lot of marble

    • 😀 yup a lot of marbles and sooo white! It was easily spotted from distance. Wow, a documentary about Mussolini, must be very interesting one 😊

      • well I will keep you posted – I think it is on the history channel or smithsonian – and it really helps pass the time for some indoor bile exercise –

  2. It must be nice walking around inside museum without abundant visitors as other mainstream tourist spots. I think, I’ll put in on my bucket list if i have chance to visit Rome.. Beautiful photos as always. Mbak Indah.

    • That’s true, sometimes it is tiring to see so many tourists (apalagi yg suka gak mau ngantri, ih gemes banget :D) Thank you Nurul, the monument has controversial history but it is still worth a visit 🙂

  3. Thanks for stopping by again Indah. I especially like the “fish eye” angle on the Altar of the Fatherland…..this one really makes it look like a wedding cake! Love traveling with you………I feel like a sofa voyeur traveling the world with you 🙂
    Have a wonderful day, my blogging friend!

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