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The center of Rome's historical district is the Piazza Venezia just north of the Capitoline Hill.  There stands a public monument that has received mixed reviews during its whole lifetime.  The Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy was completed in 1935 under the Fascist regime.  The initial planning had started back in 1885.  Many people ridiculed the building for its pomposity and for its role in causing an historical area on the Capitoline to be demolished to provide a place for it.  It has been dubbed "the wedding cake" and "the typewriter" and a few other names.



Victor Emmanuel II reigned over Italy from 1861 until his death in 1878.  Prior to that, he was King of Sardinia and a few other segments of Italy.  He came to be regarded as the Father of the Fatherland.  The building  is also a monument to the unification of Italy and houses several museums of the reunification period as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of World War I.



Piazza Venezia at one of its more serene moments early in the morning.  The traffic usually gets pretty hectic later in the day.  We found it a convenient spot to have taxis let us off for walking trips to historical areas and as a spot to find an unoccupied taxi to return in.




A frequent sight at historical places around Rome are these free-lance "Roman soldiers," who will generously allow you to have yourself photographed with them for a price. In the background are the domes of the churches of Santa Maria di Loreto (l.) and Santissimo Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano (Church of the Most Holy Name of Mary at the Forum of Trajan).




Two members of the Italian military ceremonially guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with its eternal flame.




An equestrian statue of King Victor Emmanuel is the focal point of the entire complex.




Roman temple style architecture at both ends and both levels.




A contingent of security guards enforce a little better level of manners on tourists than is the norm for Rome.  No sitting on the steps, no smoking, no beverages, etc.




A great deal of white marble got used in this project.




The base of the equestrian statue.




Allegorical figures of various salutary character attributes of the Italian people.




A side view.  




The king on horseback.




Winged victory in her chariot.