In the heart of Rome stands the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II), better known as Il Vittoriano. The colossal marble monument to Italy's first king, Vittorio Emanuele II (b. 1820/r. 1861-78) was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi and work began in 1888. It was inaugurated in 1911, the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Kingdom of Italy.
The centrepiece of the monument is a huge bronze statue of the king on horseback, which stands 12 metres (40 feet) high, making it the largest statue in the city.
The equestrian statue, which was cast in over a dozen pieces, was begun by Enrico Chiaradia and completed by Emilio Gallori. Before all of the pieces were assembled a group of dignitaries toasted the creation of the statue in, of all places, the horse's cavernous belly.