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Piazza Venezia

A stone’s throw from the Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia isn’t for sitting back and sipping coffee — it’s for exploring palaces, museums and viewing platforms.

Piazza Venezia is best visited when also taking in the Colosseum and Roman Forum, as it is nearby at the end of Via dei Fori Imperiali, and the first impression is quite remarkable.

The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (often shortened to Altare della Patria) is to your immediate left as you enter the square. The white marble monument honors the man credited with the unification of Italy in the mid-19th century. Its vast, ostentatious design required an entire area of medieval Rome be demolished to make way for it. Plenty of Romans dislike the monument, but it’s difficult to ignore the accomplished work of the Italian sculptors commissioned to work on it, including Leonardo Bistolfi and Angelo Zanelli.

Behind the enormous equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel lies the ever-fascinating Museo Centrale del Risorgimento Italiano, which illuminates Italy’s unification, along with other decisive moments in its history. A glass elevator takes you to a viewing platform, which offers spectacular views of the ancient remains to the southeast. Entry to the museo is free on the first Tuesday of the month.

From the top of the Altare della Patria, try to tune out the buzz of traffic and admire the piazza. The Palazzo Venezia takes up much of the left-hand side of the square and was established in the mid-15th century by Cardinal Pietro Barbo, who later became pope. Some centuries further down the line, Mussolini took over the palace as his headquarters and used the balcony to address his public. But today, it is home to the Museo del Palazzo di Venezia, which has a range of exhibits that includes fine religious paintings from the 14th century, a collection of ancient German wooden statues and a room of paintings on canvas, including Francesco Solimena’s Wedding at Cana and Donato Creti’s Dance of the Nymphs.

There are two smaller palaces, too — the Palazzo Generali and the Palazzo Bonaparte (named after the French emperor’s mother) — so you’ll probably want to have your espresso on the go.

Piazza Venezia is in central Rome. Bus stops and the Metro train station Colosseo are all nearby.


Guide to Exploring Piazza Venezia


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Hotel Contilia £53
Hotel Contilia

Hotel Contilia

Via Principe Amedeo 81, Rome
     
    3.6
    of 5, from 1,158 reviews
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Located in Municipio Roma I, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. Roman Forum and Piazza Venezia are also within 1 mile (2 km).

    Hotel Delle Nazioni £124
    Hotel Delle Nazioni

    Hotel Delle Nazioni

    Via Poli 7, Rome
       
      4.2
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      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in Municipio Roma I, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Galleria Alberto Sordi, Pantheon and Piazza Venezia. Vittorio Emanuele Monument and Roman Forum are also within 15 minutes.

      iQ Hotel Roma £127
      iQ Hotel Roma

      iQ Hotel Roma

      Via Firenze, 8, Rome
         
        4.7
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        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Repubblica, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Piazza Venezia and Vittorio Emanuele Monument are also within 1 mile (2 km).

        Monti Palace Hotel £139
        Monti Palace Hotel

        Monti Palace Hotel

        Via Cavour, n.185, Rome
           
          4.6
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          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Monti, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Peter in Chains, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and Imperial Fora. Santa Prassede and Piazza Venezia are also within 15 minutes.

          The K Boutique Hotel £88
          The K Boutique Hotel

          The K Boutique Hotel

          Largo Visconti Venosta, 228, Rome
             
            4.4
            of 5, from 152 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            This hotel is located in Rome (Monti), close to Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Colosseum and Roman Forum. Also nearby are Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Piazza Venezia.

            Hotel Cosmopolita £100
            Hotel Cosmopolita

            Hotel Cosmopolita

            Via Santa Eufemia, 5, Rome
               
              4.0
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              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Municipio Roma I, this hotel is steps away from Trajan's Market, Piazza Venezia and Vittorio Emanuele Monument. Roman Forum and Pantheon are also within 15 minutes.

              UNA Hotel Roma £123
              UNA Hotel Roma

              UNA Hotel Roma

              Via Giovanni Amendola, 57, Rome
                 
                4.4
                of 5, from 2,077 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Municipio Roma I, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Roman Forum and Piazza Venezia are also within 1 mile (2 km).

                Hotel Smeraldo £88
                Hotel Smeraldo

                Hotel Smeraldo

                Via dei Chiavari 20, Rome
                   
                  4.3
                  of 5, from 586 reviews
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Navona, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Campo de' Fiori, Piazza Navona and Pantheon. Piazza Venezia and Vittorio Emanuele Monument are also within 10 minutes.