The Vittorio Emanuele II monument. This monument is generally disliked by art historians and most Romans. In 1870, the impossible came true. After centuries of occupation and local divisions, Vittorio Emanuele II, the king of Italy, unified the country. This monument stands just a short walk from the Roman Forum. Construction began in 1885 and was completed in 1935. This monument also holds Italy's tomb of the unknown soldier, a monument to soldiers who died in World War I.