Sitting at the base of Capitoline Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome, Piazza Venezia is home to beautiful buildings, an iconic monument, and even an antique basilica.
- Marvel at an enormous equestrian statue at the Altar of the Fatherland.
- Delve into the piazza’s Renaissance past in the Palazzo Venezia.
- Converse about politics with Madame Lucrezia
What to see and do:
Built between 1455 and 1464 by Venetian Cardinal, Pietro Barbo, this Renaissance palace is the oldest building that remains on the square, and it’s what gave the piazza its name.
First used as a papal residence for the Cardinal, who later became Pope Paul II, it later served as the embassy to the Republic of Venice. During World War I it was acquired by the Italian government and was later taken over by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
Today, the palace is home to the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Venezia which exhibits artworks from the Medieval and Renaissance periods.
The Victor Emmanuel II National Monument
This iconic monument, also known as the Altar of the Fatherland or simply as ‘Il Vittoriano’, was made out of white marble and is a highly symbolic building. It was built in memory of the Italian king from whom it gets its name and also to celebrate Italian unification.
It was designed to look like a neoclassical interpretation of a forum built on three levels and is topped by a monumental portico with a colonnade.
Every art piece represents a symbol of the Fatherland, from the statue of the goddess Roma holding the eternal flame to the enormous equestrian statue of Victor Emanuel II, the first king of Italy.
Basilica di San Marco
This baroque basilica is a reconstruction of an ancient one built-in 336 CE and has had many different forms over the years. It’s actually located on its own square, Piazza San Marco, but it’s surrounded on all sides by Piazza Venezia. It is the national church of Venice in Rome.
In front of the church is a gigantic and weather-beaten bust called Madame Lucrezia, probably representing the Eqyptian goddess Isis. She is one of the six ‘talking statues’ of Rome – political criticisms and satirical poems were posted on the statues dating back to the sixteenth century.
This palace was built in 1666 for the family d’Aste. It was inhabited by several different families over time but its most famous occupant was Maria Laetitia Ramolino, Napoleon Bonaparte’s mother. She was given refuge thereafter she was expelled from France and lived there until her death, in 1836. The palace is named after her.