Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Giuseppe Garibaldi Monument

The Janiculum Hill, or Gioncolo in Italian, is not one of the ancient seven hills of Rome as it sets on the west bank of the Tiber, but today has the best view of the city. Because of its distance from the center of the city the hill does not have the same rich ancient history as almost everywhere else, but instead made its claim to fame in 1849 as the site for the decisive battle between Giuseppe Garibaldi and the French forces defending the Papal state.

Garibaldi, who commanded the Italian forces against the French in the First Italian War of Independence, defended the hilltop from French forces but was eventually defeated which led to the siege of Rome in 1859. Garibaldi would go on to lead Italian forces in the Second and Third Italian Wars of Independence. His legacy lives on in that the entire city of Rome is a part of the nation of Italy and not a separate Catholic state, like the Vatican City across the Tiber from Rome. 

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