The equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele II, with a a bas-relief on the pedestal showing the 14 noble cities of united Italy
The goddess Rome (Dea Roma), with the tomb of the Italian Unknown Soldier below
Bas-relief representing "the Work"
Bas-relief representing "the Patriotism"
The sixteen columns each topped with a statue representing the initial 16 regions of Italy
It was conceived as a modern forum on three levels, connected by stairways. All the artworks contained in the monument have symbolic values, except the centrally placed equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele II.
At the base of the Vittoriano there are the two "fountains of the two seas"
, representing the two seas bordering Italy, the Adriatic Sea
, on the left, and the Tyrrhenian Sea
, on the right. On the sides of the monument entrance there are two statues in bronze by Giuseppe Mazzini, "Thought"
to the left and "Action"
to the right, symbolic placed here as the two actions are considered fundamental in the Italian unification process.
On the first level of the Vittoriano there is the famous "Altare della Patria"
(the Altar of the Fatherland), an altar of the goddess Rome, with a statue representing it in the center, and also the tomb of the Italian Unknown Soldier
, dedicated to all the Italian soldiers killed or missing during the war. It is the tomb of an Italian soldier killed during the First World War. His identity remained unknown due to the injuries that made him unidentifiable. It was inaugurated in 1921, being the symbol of all the soldiers killed in the war. In their memory a flame burns permanently. An honor guard selected from the navy, infantry and aviation guard the tomb permanently.
To the left of the statue of the goddess Rome there is a bas-relief representing "the Work"
, and to the right a bas-relief representing "the Patriotism"
. Sometimes the Vittoriano monument itself is called the Altare della Patria because of the importance of the monument for Italy. On the sides of the monument there are four Botticino Marble statuary groups, "The Strength"
, "The Harmony"
, "The Sacrifice"
and "The Law"
, considered the principles emanated from "The Thought" and "The Action", and which make the Italian nation strong.
On the second level, the equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele II
stands in the center, cast in bronze from cannons from the Royal Army, flanked by four statues of the Winged Victory goddess. The equestrian statue is created by the Venetian sculptor Enrico Chiaradia who worked for 20 years to complete it. It is 12 meters long and weighs 50 tons. On the statue's marble base there are sculptural depictions, a bas-relief by Eugenio Maccagnani, with the 14 noble cities of united Italy
, capitals of the Italian pre-unification states.
On the third level, there is the terrace of the redeemed cities
, dedicated to those cities and regions united to Italy in the peace treaties signed at the end of the First World War. Above this terrace there is a portico with a long line of sixteen Corinthian columns, flanked by two imposing temple-like entrances (propylaea). The sixteen columns are each topped with a statue and represent the 16 regions of Italy
(presently there are 20 regions). Each statue was made by a sculptor from the respective region. Above the portico there are two bronze statues of the goddess Victoria, the Roman goddess of Victory, riding on chariots drawn by four horses (quadrigae). The one on the left represent "the Unity"
, and the one on the right represent "the Liberty"
Statue of Victor Emmanuel II
View from left with statues of Victor Emmanuel center, and the Adriatic Sea and The Strength and Harmony in the lower area, and the Liberty up rigth
View from left, with statues of Victor Emmanuel center, and The Sacrifice and Law in the lower area, and the Unity up left
Photo by Jebulon on Wikimedia Commons
In the building there is the Museo del Risorgimento
, dedicated to the unification and independence of Italy.
Atop of the museum there is Terrazza delle Quadrighe
, an observation deck, or belvedere, offering spectacular views of the city.
The monument is built from Botticino marble from Brescia. The white of Botticino marble does not fit very well with the browns of the buildings and ruins in the area.
It was built by the Italian government to celebrate the unification of Italy and the first king of the unified Italy, Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, called "Padre della Patria" ("Father of the Fatherland"). It was inspired by the ancient Hellenistic temples, as Pergamon Altar from the ancient Greek city of Pergamon. The drafting of the project started in 1884, then a detailed project was created in 1885. It was built by Giuseppe Sacconi, and after his death in 1905 it was finished by Manfredo Manfredi, Gaetano Koch, and Pio Piacenti. It required expropriations and extensive demolitions and reshaping the area, including enlarging the existing square to create Piazza Venezia. There have been many criticisms due to the demolition and destruction of some monuments on Capitoline Hill and a nearby medieval neighborhood. Numerous Italian artists worked for the monument, including Leonardo Bistolfi, Manfredo Manfredi, Giulio Monteverde, Augusto Rivalta, Lodovico Pogliaghi, and it was inaugurated on June 4, 1911 only partially completed, for the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Kingdom of Italy, being finally completed in 1935.