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Visiting The Altar Of The Fatherland In Rome

The Altar of the Fatherland in Rome is known by many names, like the Wedding Cake and the Typewriter, and you should make a visit on your next Roman holiday.


Altar of the Fatherland - Night

Altar of the Fatherland at Night


The Altar Of The Fatherland Names

The national monument called the Victor Emmanuel II Monument is known by many names. The names include Mole del Vittoriano, Il Vittoriano. One of the reasons there are so many names is because the monument has had many additions over the years. These include the Altar To The Fatherland, The tomb of the Unknown Soldier and it is a symbol of the unification of Italy.

Living in Rome, it seems like every other week there is a celebration that takes place in Piazza Venezia, which is the home of the monument. These include military parades, flyovers by the Frecce Tricolori which could be considered the Italian equivalent to the Blue Angels in the United States.

The Altar Of The Fatherland Monument

With the rise of Fascism prior to World War II, the Altar of the Fatherland became the setting for the military parades of the government of Benito Mussolini. After World War II, and with Italy becoming a Republic in 1946, the monument was stripped of all its Fascist symbols and resumed its original function as a secular temple dedicated to the citizens of Italy.


Brief History Of The Altar Of The Fatherland

The Altar of the Fatherland (Altare della Patria) was built following the decision by the Italian Parliament to dedicate a national monument to King Vittorio Emanuele II in 1878. Since its inauguration, it has been the scene of many state sponsored celebrations which has cemented its role as a symbol of national identity. 


Altar of the Fatherland - Blue Skies

Altar of the Fatherland With Blue Skies


The most important annual celebrations that take place at the Altar of the Fatherland are:

  • The anniversary of the liberation of Italy on April 25th

  • The Italian Republic Day on June 2nd

  • The Day of National Unity and the Armed Forces on November 4th. During this celebration, the President of the Italian Republic pays homage to the chapel of the Unknown Soldier.

The Altare della Patria is one of the most eye-catching structures in Rome. Its dramatic scale and its white marble make it the subject of a limitless number of photographs taken by hordes of tourists that fill the piazza each day.

Where Is The Altar Of The Fatherland?

The Altare della Patria is the centerpiece of the Piazza Venezia history. This also borders the Roman Forum, Piazza d’Aracoeli, Piazza di San Marco and Piazza Foro Traiano. It is at the intersection of  Via del Corso, Via dei Fori Imperiali and is very close to one end of Via Nazionale. 


How Big Is The Altare Della Patria?

The Altare della Patria was built using white Botticino marble and is formed by a dramatic center staircase with 243 steps and 134 feet wide. It is 266 feet high, 443 feet wide, 427 feet deep with a footprint of more than 7 million square feet. 

What Is Inside The Monument?


altar of the fatherland - Angel on Chariot

Angel on Chariot


Inside the Altare della Patria are museums dedicated to the history of Italy, with a particular focus on the Unification of Italy. These include the Central Museum of the Unification, the Flag of Italy Memorial and other temporary exhibits.

On the roof of the monument, which you can get to by a “glass” elevator attached to the back of the building, there is a very panoramic terrace. This is one of the greatest attractions of the monument because of the amazing views that can be seen from the same height as the chariots. The price for this elevator is 7€ for adults and 3.50€ for youth (under 18) and seniors (over 65).

How Do You Get The Altar of the Fatherland Tickets?

In order to get to the Monument you have a lot of options since it is quite a transportation hub. You can take the subway, Metro B, to the stop “Colosseo” and walk down Via dei Fori Imperiali. You can also take any number of buses, just check the sign for Piazza Venezia. From Termini, you can try the #40 or #64 and from other spots, look for the #44, #84, #780 or #810.

What Are The hours For The Altar Of The Fatherland Monument?

From Monday through Sunday, the monument is open from 9:30am until 7:30pm, with the last admission at 6:45pm. The monument is closed on December 25th and January 1st.


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