Altar of the Fatherland – Rome, Italy

The Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) is a monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II) who was the first king of a unified Italy. It courted controversy due to its location and style.

Just like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and at Westminster Abbey in London, Italy, Portugal and USA followed suit in 1921 and unveiled their own. Italy’s tomb is located at the base of the Altar of the Fatherland.

There are many tombs of the unknown soldier around the world in dedication to the memory of all soldiers killed in any war.

It is quite an impressive looking monument situated at the south end of the Piazza Venezia. I agree with the Italians in as much as it looks out of place in lieu of its surroundings; too shiny and boxy.

It does look quite good at sunrise when the morning light is raking across it.

Altar of the Fatherland at sunrise

To get this shot, I had to cross the road into the middle of the piazza. There is a pedestrian crossing but waiting for the traffic to stop is a futile exercise. You have to step out into the oncoming traffic and they will then slow down and stop for you. You can’t just step out at any time though, you have to time it so that the driver has enough time to see you and slow down. It was unnerving at first but I got used to it pretty quickly.

What I started to notice is that as you are waiting for the right moment to step out, a driver may spot you and so take their foot off the accelerator. If you don’t step out they get upset because you did not step out in front of them! By the end of my trip I think I had mastered the art of stepping out into oncoming traffic! Something you don’t say that often.

There is nothing technically special about this image, except for the tilt/shift lens which I use as much as I can for architecture compositions. The HDR took care of the dynamic range at this time of the morning and I did clone out a sign in the middle of the grass.

Mother Nature did all the heavy lifting.

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