Posted by: Debra Kolkka | December 12, 2011

The best view in Rome

the very popular monument to Vittorio Emanuele II

A large chunk of Capitoline Hill was destroyed to build Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II to honour the first king of a unified Italy. The huge building stands white and proud between Piazza Venezia and Capitoline Hill, right in the centre of Rome. It was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885, inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1935. Its gleaming white Brescia marble shines in the Italian sun.

white marble gleaming in the sun

Vittorio Emaneule II sitting astride his horse is the largest equestrian statue in Europe. The bronze sculpture is 12 metres long and weighs 50 tons. The horse’s hoof is half a metre deep and the moustache is reputed to be 3 metres long. On the day the horse was put into position 21 workers celebrated by installing a long table to eat their lunch inside the belly. Vittorio Emanuele II was apparently a modest man. I wonder what he would have made of this monument.

Vittorio on his horse

the largest equestrian statue in Europe

the moustache is 3 metres long

The building has always offered wonderful views across Rome from its many terraces, but in 2007 a glass lift was installed at the back of the building which takes you all the way to the top for an unrivalled view of the city and surrounds. For 7 euro you get a great view of the nearby colusseum, the roof of the Pantheon, the entire length of Via del Corso, the Vatican and so much more.

the glass lift takes you to the top

Once you get to the top you can stay as long as you like. The views are incredible and there are telescopes available to bring the sights closer.

the viewing platform at the top

It seems that you an see all of Rome from the top.

looking towards the Colusseum



the forum

looking down Via del Corso

the roof of the Pantheon

looking towards the Vatican

Vittorio from above

The sculptures on the monument are spectacular up close.

amazing sculpture

the other side

the horses

a tiny cloud in the distance

up close

There are several museums in the building well worth a visit. We particularly liked the immigration museum which gives a detailed and very moving account of Italian migration.

There is lots to see in and around this incredible monument to united Italy’s first king.

beautiful sculptures on high


another beautiful sculpture


a special kiss

the tomb of the unknown soldier

the eternal flame

 Don’t miss the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II if you go to Rome. You will love the view from the top. 

Vittorio Emanuele II

Click here to see the Pantheon, my favourite place in Rome and here to see the fabulous Trevi Fountain. 


  1. Gosh, Deb, those views are stunning–and that’s putting it mildly!

    • The view from the top of the monument is incredible. The museums inside are great too. The building is not popular with everyone, many people think it is a bit kitch, but I love it.

  2. I’ve seen if from below, but next time we should take the lift. Thanks.

    • You won’t be disappointed, it’s great.

  3. We were only in Rome for a day, so didn’t have enough time to take in more than a couple of choice sights. We lingered around this monument for a bit, but judging from your photos we missed so much. I guess we’ll just have to return! Lovely photos Debra and some good info about the history and admission fee. Thanks. 🙂

    • That’s a good reason for another trip to Rome. It is a fabulous city with so much to offer.

  4. Hehe I was hoping for another bum shot! 😉

    • There are lots of bottoms at the monument. You can find them if you go there.

  5. I agree with you, Debra. Best views and the building is a great example of neo-classic architecture. It does have beautiful proportions.

    • And the view from the top is wonderful.

  6. I’ve never been to Rome myself but my dad and brother went a few months ago and had their whole bag stolen in Rome Airport, including passports, ipad and iphone, cameras and lots of money. I’m now a bit scared to go…but dang! It looks so pretty!! I’ll just have to buy travel insurance when I go and look after my stuff I guess..:P

    • I too, had my wallet stolen at the railway station in Rome. It can happen anywhere, especially busy places where it is easy to spot people who look uncertain. Please don’t let this keep you away from Rome. Keep your valuables close to you and have a great time exploring.

  7. I didn’t realize the views were as fantastic as your photos show- next trip I’ll definately be taking the lift. Thanks for the tip!

    • The view from the top is stunning. You will love it

  8. I didn’t know you could go up on top here. I’m not much for heights, but I think I’ll try this next time we’re in Rome.

    • It is quite safe. The glass lift is quite big and the viewing platform has a high fence and the views are spectacular.

  9. What beautiful views of Rome. How amazing that V.E.’s moustache is three meters long.

    • Everything about this place is big!

  10. We were in Rome in October for our third visit. We have passed the ‘wedding cake’ many times and had no idea of the glass lift we’re so pleased you have shared this with us Debra as it gives us a good reason to return!

    • I didn’t know about it until recently either. It isn’t publicized well.

  11. Sounds like I need to take another trip to Rome

    • It wouldn’t hurt. I have signed up for your blog, it looks great.

  12. Deb, great to see you today and learn of the blog. This looks fantastic and I will be adding it to our list of activities for Rome. I love the idea of the lift and I did not know it existed.

    • I hope you get a fine day for your Vittorio visit. Take a look in the Milan, Rome and Venice categories and I will group Tuscany together soon.

  13. Ow wow! Excellent captions!

    I never get to catch that veneu open. It was always close whenever I went to Rome.

    • What a pity! That is a good excuse to go back.

    *sigh*… I’ll get there again one day 🙂

  15. […] love the white glove, and the guard at the Vittorio Emanuelle building in rome is cute […]

  16. […] here to see another great view of Rome, or look in the Rome category for lots more on this gorgeous […]

  17. “Sun, who tarries on high, contemplating Rome:
    Greater never you’ve nor shall you in future see greater
    Than Rome, O sun, as your priest, Horace, enraptured foretold…”

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