Rome’s spiritual and geographical centre
Piazza Venezia & Altare della Patria - One of the central hubs around which the living museum of Rome revolves. The traditional Roman traffic circus Piazza Venezia is dominated by the impressive Altare della Patria (Alter of the Fatherland), a memorial to Vittorio Emanuele – the first king of unified Italy.
Looking for the heart of Rome? Then you’ve just found it. You’ll notice more than the architecture here – there’s a striking buzz of energy around the Piazza Venezia & Altare della Patria that will envelop you when you hop off our Rome Bus Tour.
Climb the dazzling white steps of ‘the Typewriter’ – a fondly mocking nickname the locals hold for the Altare. Take the glass lift 70 metres (230 feet) to the top and drink in the views of the ‘Eternal City’ as it spreads out beneath your feet.
A busy hub of attractions
Within the monument, find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and eternal flame, guarded by the permanent fixture of Il Pichetto d’Onore – Italy’s guards of honour. In the Piazza, you can also find the Palazzo Venezia, Palazzo Bonaparte (home to Napoleon’s mother) and San Marco church – together, this area forms one of the most densely ‘landmarked’ spots on our Big Bus Tour of Rome.
Other interesting facts about the Piazza Venezia & Altare della Patria
- From the colonnade to the terrace you’ll have to climb 196 steps
- Planning for the Altare began in 1885. It was inaugurated in 1911, but only finally finished in 1925
- The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added later, in 1921
- Piazza Venezia is located at the geometric centre of Rome, making it the real beating heart of the city
- The huge size and imposing design of the Altare dell Patria provoked controversy during construction, as part of the Capitoline Hill was removed to create room for it