The Victor Emanuel monument was spectacular with beautiful statues and fountains. Built between 1885 and 1911, the monument was dedicated to the memory of King Victor Emanuel, II of Savoia who achieved the unification of Italy in 1870 with Rome as its capital. The monument is also the site of the tomb of the Unknown Italian Soldier of World War I. Originally designed by Giuseppe Sacconi, the structure includes two allegorical groups in bronze gilt, representing Thought and Action and two fountains representing the the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas. The construction of the monument was controversial because a number of ancient Roman ruins and medieval churches were demolished to make room for the structure. Some art historians have also complained about the degree of ornamentation used on the building. However, I found it rather breathtaking myself although I am particuarly partial to elaborate historical motifs.