One of Rome‘s most recognizable monuments goes by many names – some official, some less so. Its official moniker is the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, it’s more commonly known simply as the “Vittoriano.” Many Romans dislike the monument’s design, however, so you may also hear it referred to as “The Typewriter,” “The Wedding Cake” or even “The False Teeth.” Like it or hate it, the Vittoriano is hard to miss.
Completed in 1935, the Vittoriano was built as a monument to Italy‘s first king – Vittorio Emanuele II, whose name you’ll see on many streets, piazzas, and buildings throughout Italy. Today, the monument is perhaps better known as the home of Italy’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and (much more recently) a glass-walled elevator to a rooftop viewing platform that has become a popular tourist attraction. Additionally, there’s a museum to Italian reunification inside the building.
The Vittoriano monument dominates Piazza Venezia in central Rome, and it’s free to wander up and down the steps or check out the museum. If you’d like to ride the Sky Elevator (“Roma dal Cielo Ascensore” in Italian), that will cost several euro per person. The entrance to the Sky Elevator is at the back of the monument near the cafe. Once atop the roof, you’re offered commanding views over the Roman Forum and the city beyond.