Lying 15 miles from the sea, Rome may seem a strange location for a lighthouse (faro). However, in 1911, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Kingdom of Italy, a lighthouse was presented to the capital as a gift from Italian emigrants who had settled in Argentina.
The lighthouse, which stands on the hill known as the Janiculum (Gianicolo), was designed by the architect Manfredo Manfredi (1859-1927), who had worked on Il Vittoriano (the monument to King Victor Emmanuel II), which was also inaugurated in the same year.
The Faro del Gianicolo stands 20 metres (60 feet) high and is topped by four lions, which hold up the lantern. The latter was originally designed to beam out the three colours of the Italian flag on the evenings of national holidays.