Piazza Venezia is the central hub of Rome, Italy, in which several thoroughfares intersect, including the Via dei Fori Imperiali and the Via del Corso. It takes its name from the Palazzo Venezia, built by the Venetian Cardinal, Pietro Barbo alongside the church of Saint Mark, the patron saint of Venice. The Palazzo Venezia served as the embassy of the Republic of Venice in Rome.
One side of the Piazza is the site of Italy's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Altare della Patria, part of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, first king of Italy.
The piazza or square is at the foot of the Capitoline Hill and next to Trajan's Forum. The main artery, the Viale di Fori Imperiali begins there and leads past the Roman Forum to the Colosseum.
Capitalizing on this modern and ancient symbolism--and the useful open space--Piazza Venezia was the location of public speeches given by the Italian dictator Mussolini to crowds of his supporters in the 1920s-1940s.
In 2009, during excavations in the middle of the square for the construction of the Rome C Metro Line, remains of the emperor Hadrian's Athenaeum were unearthed.