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Victor Emmanuel II Monument or Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II (Vittoriano)

This huge monument by Giuseppe Sacconi, which was begun in 1885 and inaugurated in 1911, was erected in honor of King Victor Emmanuel II, who achieved the unification of Italy in 1870 with Rome as the capital city. The dazzling white marble clashes with the warm tones of the Roman townscape and the grandiloquent style strikes a jarring note. The monument has been given several nicknames, including the "wedding cake" and the "typewriter". A very broad flight of steps flaned by two allegorical groups in bronze gilt representing Thought and Action, leads up to the Altar to the Nation; the steps divide before meeting at an equestrian state of Victor Emmanuel; they then divide again and lead up to concave portico, which is surrounded by two bronze quadrigas bearing statues of winged victory. The foot of the stairway is flanked by two fountains representing the Tyrrhenian Sea (right) and the Adriatic sea (left).

Last Revised September 28, 2007

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