Bustling city square in Rome
Piazza Venezia is one of the busiest intersections in Rome. The square is dominated by the huge Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, the National Monument to the Italian unification. On the west side of the square is the Palazzo Venezia from the 15th Century. The beautiful Renaissance palace once belonged to the Republic of Venice and served in the fascist era of Benito Mussolini as the seat of government. From the central balcony, the dictator held pathetic speeches on the situation in Italy.
Today the elegant city palace houses the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Venezia - a museum of archaeology and art history, in which changing art exhibitions take place. The permanent exhibition presents weapons, paintings, marble sculptures, busts, tapestries, works of art and printed material such as the map of the world in the Sala del Mappamondo.
Right next to the Palazzo Venezia is the Basilica di San Marco. The small church is dedicated to the Evangelist Mark and was probably built in the 4th Century. After several renovations in the 8th, 15th and 18th Century it was given its present appearance. Worth seeing in the interior is the apse mosaic "Christ submits the divine law" from the 9th Century.