Rome, Italy

Il Vittoriano

Known as "Il Vittoriano", this monument was begun in 1885 and inaugurated in 1911 in honour of Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, the first King is depicted here in a gilt bronze equestrian statue, oversized like the monument itself - the statue is 12 m (39 ft.) long.

The edifice also contains a museum of the Risorgimento, the events that led to unification. Built in austere white Brescian marble, the “wedding cake” or “typewriter” (two of the many insulting nicknames given to this white elephant) will never mellow into the ochre tones of surrounding buildings. It is widely held to be the epitome of self-important, insensitive architecture, though the views that it offers are spectacular.

On the left the "Trajan's Column".