Officially known as Il Vittoriano, locals derisively refer to it as the Wedding Cake or the Typewriter.
Designed in 1895 and completed in 1935, it is a monument to King Victor Emanuele, the unifier of Italy. Despite its ancient heritage, Italy is a young country and was first unified in 1870. The flame in the center with the military guard marks Italy's tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The building was reopened to the public in 2000, following a $4.5 million, 3-year restoration.
The name Villa Olmo comes from a magnificent elm that no longer stands; it is a beautiful 18th century neoclassical villa on Lake Como.
In 1924, ownership of the Villa passed from the Visconti di Modrone to the City of Como, and the building is now host to the Alessandro Volta Center of Scientific Culture, which has changing exhibitions on the life and work of Alesandro Volta.