Piazza Venezia in Rome Description, Photos, Fun Facts

Piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia in Rome is a world-renowned landmark. It is where most sightseeing tours begin. What it is remarkable and where it is located, you will learn from this article. It will help you navigate on your own when you arrive in the capital of Italy. Some interesting facts from history, given below, will definitely interest even the experienced tourist.

Vittoriano – the center of Rome

Piazza Venezia is located next to the Capitol. It is called the main tourist area of the capital, where all local excursions start from. It concentrates the main traffic intersection of the city.

At the square begins some of the major streets:

  • Fori Imperiali will “guide” the tourist to the Colosseum near the ruins that marked the Roman Forum;
  • Plebiscite, as well as the Fourth of November;
  • Prospekt Victor Emmanuel (leads to St. Peter’s Cathedral);
  • Via del Corso.

The central part of the square is crowned by a monument to Victor Emmanuel II, who was the first ruler of united Italy. The memorial is part of the Vittoriano complex, the largest building in Venice Square in Rome. Construction began in 1885. It was opened 26 years later, although improvements lasted another 24 years and did not end until 1935.

Residents of the capital came up with several humorous names for the Vittoriano: denture jaw, typewriter, wedding cake. The irony was based on the monument’s pretentious format and the excessive piling up of details around the main character. Although the bas-relief and columns were conceived by the authors for the luxurious exterior of the memorial.

The observation deck opened by the authorities on the roof of the Vittoriano is today the only successful place in the historic center of the capital that is suitable for viewing the surroundings. It offers beautiful views of the city and its central streets.

Here you can take pictures as a memento of your visit to the Italian capital. Binoculars are available for viewing the area. For convenience and relaxation of travelers built a cafe. You can go upstairs by elevator. The price for admission per person is 7 euros. Working hours: 9.30-19.30 (Mon-Fri); 9.30-22.00 (Fri-Sat); 9.30-12.30 (Fri).

Go inside from Via San Pietro in Carcere (adjacent to the monument on the left). Inside the complex there are three museums and several rooms for exhibitions and expositions. One of the museums is dedicated to the national liberation struggle of Italians. The second “tells” about the banners of the navy. The last one “tells” a very interesting story about the Italian emigration. Free admission on the first Sunday of the month. The weekend is the first Tuesday of the month.

On the official website of the Vittoriano you can find information about the opening hours of the museums, the schedule of temporary exhibitions, find out the current prices of tickets, explore the detailed description of the vernissages, which are often dedicated to the Italian history and art.

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The complex of historical sites

The square is decorated with a huge number of old buildings, which are historical sites of the Italian capital. Among them, we can distinguish the following structures (some objects are now in ruined condition).

Church of San Marco.

It was built in 336 A.D. in honor of the Apostle Mark. After 500 years it was reconstructed by Pope Gregory. The fifteenth-century reconstruction affected the floor and ceiling inside the structure, as well as the pulpit. In the 18th century, the interior of the church was again renovated. But until today, the crypt of the basilica still has frescoes by craftsmen of the 4th century. The facade is decorated with a three-arch portico and an exquisitely decorated loggia. A bowl with ancient writings, hollowed out in a column of marble (the main entrance). It is designed to be filled with holy water.

Palazzo D’Aste (Bonaparte Palace). This palace in Piazza Venezia in Rome has an architectural style typical of the Renaissance period. It was built at the end of the 17th century for the family of the Marquis J. D’Aste. At the beginning of the 19th century it was bought by the mother of the great Napoleon Bonaparte. She lived here for 18 years until the end of her days.

Next to the building, the plot of Woody Allen’s film “Roman Adventures” unfolded. The scene with the traffic controller under the green balcony of the palace was filmed here.

Church of Santa Maria di Loreto

A 16th century structure. The building was designed by local craftsmen and commissioned by the Pious Brotherhood of Bakers. The construction lasted more than half a century. The temple was ready in 1576. The church is located next to the complex Vittoriano, on the esplanade of the Forum of Trajan. Later the dome and lantern were made by the famous G. Duca (a disciple of Michelangelo). Inside the building you can contemplate the statues of Saints Susanna and Celizia, the work of sculptors of the 17th century. The main altar was built in 1628. The mosaics in the chapels are the work of Paolo Rossetti.

The ruins of the basilica of Ulpia

Named after the Emperor Trajan, who ruled in the I-II centuries. Unlike later Christian basilicas, this structure in ancient Rome was public, without religious functions. It was erected for the administration of justice, receptions for the emperor, and for trade transactions. In ancient times, the basilica was the largest building in the city. Its walls and columns were marble. The roof was covered with gilded bronze tiles. The building was decorated with the trophies of the Dacian war fought by Trajan. Some elements of the temple are preserved till nowadays (columns and foundations).

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Palazzo Venezia

This building in Piazza Venezia in Rome was built in the 4th century especially for Paul II. Later it housed the Venetian embassy. The stylistic design by the architect Maiano is early Renaissance. Decorate the structure with white marble windows and Guelph prongs. Today it houses the Museum of Decorative Art. Also in the building there is a Museum of Chere (exhibits – wax figures).

An ancient complex of the cultural and educational center of the Emperor Hadrian-Auditorium (Athenaeum). It was discovered under the modern square only a hundred years ago during the construction of the subway line. It was one of the first academies (2nd century) in the Roman state. For contemporaries it was the largest archaeological find. Today part of the brick wall and a section of gray-yellow marble masonry are available for tourists to see. The exhibits are placed in the open space of Venice Square.

All roads in the capital will invariably lead the traveler to Piazza Venezia in Rome. This area is always crowded, regardless of the season and weather. It is a favorite resting place for visitors and townspeople. Newlyweds organize exit photo sessions here, which confirms the great popularity of the historical place, its value for contemporaries. In December, the square is decorated for the Christmas holidays.

Location and the best route

The address where you can find Piazza Venezia in Rome: Italy, 00186 Rome RM, Piazza Venezia. How to get here in the easiest way? There are several ways to get to the city center:

  • Metro (line B will do, the terminus is Colosseo);
  • buses that take you to the stop with the same name;
  • streetcar number 8 (stop – Piazza Venezia).

If you are walking around the city, close to the center, you can walk. You can find the landmark on a map of Rome. After determining your own location, it’s easy to navigate and mark the necessary route to Piazza Venezia. Street Via dei Fori Imperiali, passing in the vicinity of Piazza Venezia, will serve as a guide.

For those who want to ride around Rome in a carriage, it will be very helpful services of horse-drawn carriages. Local carriers offer two and four-seat carriages (in the team may be 1 or 2 horses). The cost of a trip is 150 euros. The price of such a voyage is fixed regardless of the number of passengers.

Piazza Venezia in Rome

Piazza Venezia in Rome (aka Piazza Venezia) – one of the many centers of attraction for tourists in the heart of the Italian capital.

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A large number of attractions are concentrated here. Most sightseeing tours and self-guided journeys around the Eternal City start from here.

Piazza Venezia in Rome

Piazza Venezia in Rome

Even during the Roman Republic, Venice Square was an important transportation hub. Here the Roman fortress walls of Servius and the ancient Flaminia road crossed. The main streets in Rome diverge like rays from here: the Fourth of November, Vittorio Emanuele which leads to St. Peter’s Basilica, Via Del Corso which leads to the site of the ancient Northern Gate, Via Del Plebescita, and via Imperiali which leads to the Colosseum.

Where is the square

Piazza Venezia in Rome is located at the foot of the Capitoline Hill, just 1 kilometer northwest of the legendary Colosseum and 1 kilometer from Piazza Navona. In fact it lies exactly in the middle between the Colosseum and Piazza Navona.

Piazza Venezia

How exactly Piazza Venezia got its name

The square got its name from the Palazzo Venezia, erected here in 1455 by Pietro Barbeau, who was then Cardinal of Venice. By the way, after some time he became Pope Paul II.

Initially the palace was in his possession, and later it was used as the residence of the Venetian embassy in Rome. Later Austrian diplomats and their families started to live there. Already in the 20th century the building came under the power of Benito Mussolini.

The legend has it that the palace was built on the site of an ancient house, where the evangelist Mark had once spent the night. That was the reason why the natives of Venice, whose patron saint is considered to be Saint Mark, liked to come here so much. Over time the place came to be called the Palace of Venice. Accordingly the square was also called by this name.

Palazzo Venezia

The Palace of Venice (Palazzo Venezia).

Attractions of Piazza Venezia in Rome

As we have already said, this place has quite a lot of historical sights. Let’s take a closer look at the most famous of them.

Palazzo Venezia

This is the same palace from which the name of the square came. It is located in its western part and used to be called Palazzo San Marco, that is, St. Mark’s.

The modest decorations of the building are the windows of white marble and the rectangular Gwelthian prongs. In general, the palace is quite simple in appearance. On the facade you will not find exquisite bas-reliefs or powerful columns.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the windows in the palace are located at different distances from each other. There is a certain asymmetry. In those days, it was believed that this design prevented evil spirits from entering. The spirits, of course, gave credit to the architects and do not visit the building in any way.

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Facade of the Palazzo Venezia

As you can see, the windows are located at different distances

Interesting fact – The material for the construction of the palace was “borrowed” from the Colosseum, which was in a sad state at the time.

At the moment, the palace is home to the National Museum Palazzo Venezia (Palazzo Venezia). Its exhibition includes works of artists, pottery, weapons and household items of the Middle Ages. The architectural composition of the palace includes the Basilica of San Marco, which has been reconstructed several times. The modern facade of the basilica can be considered an arched structure. The church is decorated with a mosaic depicting Jesus Christ and the apostles. The finishing of the premises is done in the Baroque style. Inside there are some tombstones and relics of St. Mark.

Interesting fact – Opposite the Venice Palace once lived the famous artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. Unfortunately, his house has not survived.

Interesting fact – At the end of 2010 under this building was discovered “the most secret”, but unfinished bunker of Mussolini.

Despite all this, we cannot say that the structure is grandiose and pathos, unlike the following building.


Piazza Venezia in Rome is famous for the grandiose monument to the last king of Sardinia and the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II. That’s actually why the structure is known as the Vittoriano.

It is the largest building in the square in Venice. It occupies an impressive area on the northern slope of the Capitoline Hill.

Vittoriano - monument to Vittorio Emanuele II

The Vittoriano is a monument to the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele ll

Interesting fact – In order to build this monument, entire blocks were demolished.

This monument can be called a long construction, as it was built for 26 years. The works began back in 1885 and ended in 1911. The main material for the construction was white marble. The total height of the building was 81 meters.

After the end of World War I, the Army Museum and the Monument to the Unknown Soldier were added here. Therefore, the monument has another name – “Altare Della Patria” or “Altar of the Fatherland.

Monument to the Unknown Soldier

Monument to the Unknown Soldier at the monument of Vittoriano

Vittoriano got its modern look only in 1935. The monument itself houses the Risorgimento Museum, dedicated to the country’s struggle for independence.

Interesting fact – Because of its appearance the locals call Vittoriano a “typewriter”, “wedding cake” and sometimes … “false jaw”. In addition, the Romans themselves are not very fond of this monument, because, in their opinion, it does not blend in with the surrounding architecture.

At the entrance of the monument there are 2 fountains. Fountain of the Tyrrhenian on the right and Fontana dell’Adriatico on the left. The first fountain symbolizes the Tyrrhenian Sea and the second the Adriatic Sea.

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Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II

The centerpiece of the architectural composition is a statue of Vittorio Emanuele II himself on horseback.

Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II

Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II

Interesting fact – During the excavations during the creation of the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, a skeleton of a mammoth with a straight tusk was found

From below, the statue doesn’t seem very big, but in fact it is impressive, about 10 by 12 meters. It is so large that 20 workers, after the statue was completed, set up a long table inside to celebrate the completion of the work. Here’s a vintage photo of the event.

Inside the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II

The workers inside the horse. The citizen in the bowler on the left looks especially interesting.

By the way, don’t forget to visit the observation deck at the top of the structure. You can get there by elevator. Stunning views of the city are guaranteed for all 360 degrees.

Monument of Vittoriano. View from above

Monument of Vittoriano. View from above

Bonaparte House

Another attraction of Venice Square is the house where Maria Letizia Ramolino, the mother of Napoleon Bonaparte lived in the 19th century. It is located on the northern part of the square and is known as Palazzo Bonaparte and Palazzo Misciatelli (after the names of the owners, respectively).

Bonaparte House in Rome

The House of the Bonapartes in Rome

One of Laetitia’s favorite pastimes was watching city life from her balcony. The constant mundane bustle that reigned in the square was more important to her than her own son’s military victories. Even after his defeat and banishment, she continued to live there and also observe the flow of life in the Eternal City.

An interesting fact is that she outlived her son by as much as 15 years. Hence the moral – do not fight, but enjoy life and the Sightseeing World.

Via del Corso

This is the longest straight street in Rome. Its length is 1.6 kilometers. The beginning of the street takes place in Piazza del Popolo, where once stood the Northern Gate of Rome, and ends at the House of the Bonapartes. It is famous for being the site of carnivals in ancient times with the participation and, of course, races of the horses. Today Via Del Corso is famous for its stores.

In addition, around the square you can see many ancient Roman structures such as the Forum of Trajan, Trajan’s Column, the Roman Forum and the Market of Trajan. These are some of the most ancient architectural artifacts of Rome.

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