Most visitors to Rome pass through the Piazza Venezia intersection, home to the Vittorio Emanuele Monument, at least once. This busy, sprawling intersection has a vast grassy island at its center, making it a square, but its function is to keep the Eternal City’s car and bus traffic flowing, rather than act as a leisure space.
Expect to cross Piazza Venezia as you pass from the Colosseum and Roman Forum on one side and the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain on the other. Named for Palazzo Venezia—the former embassy of the Republic of Venice, today the seat of the National Museum—on one side, the square also houses a monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, crowned king when Italy reuinified in 1861.
Join a hop-on-hop-off bus tour of Rome, or take a walking, e-bike, or Segway tour of Rome’s most famous attractions, and you will pass through this chaotic yet stately square.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Piazza Venezia offers the best views and photo-ops of the Vittorio Emanuele Monument.
- Nighttime, when the Vittorio Emanuele Monument is dramatically lit, is when the plaza is most atmospheric.
- The square is accessible to wheelchair users, but the constant flow of heavy traffic requires caution when crossing.
- If crossing the square on foot, be careful to use the pedestrian crosswalks.
How to Get There
Piazza Venezia is in the very center of Rome between Capitoline Hill and the historic center, and a number of city bus routes stop in the square. You can also walk from the nearby Colosseo stop on the metro B line.
When to Get There
This busy square sees less traffic at night, and the lit Vittorio Emanuele Monument is particularly striking after sunset.
The Fascist History of Piazza Venezia
For many Italians, Piazza Venezia is inexorably linked to Mussolini and the rise of fascism in the early 20th century. Palazzo Venezia was the headquarters of the fascist party—Il Duce had his office in the palace’s Sala del Mappamondo—and Mussolini delivered his most important speeches from its balcony overlooking the square. Huge fascist symbols hung from the palazzo’s facade during the regime.