Lonely Planet review
Love it or loathe it (as most locals do), you can't ignore the massive mountain of white marble that towers over Piazza Venezia. Known also as the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), it was begun in 1885 to commemorate Italian unification and honour Victor Emmanuel II, Italy's first king and the subject of its vast equestrian statue.
The monument also hosts the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and, inside, the Museo Centrale del Risorgiment , a free museum documenting Italian unification, and the Complesso del Vittoriano , a gallery space that regularly hosts major art exhibitions.
For Rome's best 360-degree views, take the Roma dal Cielo lift from the side of the building up to the top of the monument.