Cellpic Sunday – The Unknown Soldier

Tomba del Milite Ignoto

Rome, Italy.

After World War I, many countries chose to bury an unknown soldier, as they note in the United States memorial, “known but to God.” The Italian unknown soldier rests under the statue of the goddess Roma at the Altare della Patria and represents all of the Italian soldiers killed and missing during the war.

The monument was dedicated in 1921 and the beautiful Romanesque architecture disguises the monument’s true age as it is barely over a century old. The article about the monument on Wikipedia notes that the piazza is the scene of official ceremonies that take place annually on the occasions of Italian Liberation Day (April 25), Italian Republic Day (June 2), and National Unity and Armed Forces Day (November 4).

In researching the details for this post, I found a moving story of how the unknown soldier was chosen for the honor. The mother of a soldier who was lost in the war was selected and allowed to review the caskets of eleven unknowns. She would choose one to represent all of the Italian unknowns. You can read the story here.

About the photo: Captured with my Samsung S20U, I was on the upper deck of a tour bus that drove by the monument. I could not hear the tour guide due to the poor public address system on the bus, so once the photo was captured, I used the GPS metadata captured by my phone to geolocate my position when the photo was taken. Given the design of the monument, I was sure this was some monument for an early Roman ruler.

I brought the image into Adobe Lightroom where I adjusted for tilt and cropped as necessary. Then I took it to Luminar Neo for noise removal, a tweak by the Enhance AI tool, and raising the shadows to bring out more detail in the shaded front of the monument. Click on the image to view it in 2K HD on my Flickr site.

I encourage fellow bloggers to create their own Cellpic Sunday posts. I never have a specific topic for this feature, and the only rules are that the photo must be captured with a cell phone, iPad, or another mobile device… If you have an image from a drone or even a dashcam, that’s acceptable as well. The second rule is to link your challenge response to this post or leave a comment here with a link to your post in the comment. Oh, and, you don’t have to post it on a Sunday.

John Steiner


    • The bus rounded a corner and started down the street. The open-top bus eliminated the constraints of right-angle shots through a tinted window. The original image was tilted, but I had plenty of area surrounding the subject to allow for leveling and straightening.
      Thanks, Sofia!

  1. I only knew this as the Victor Emmanuel monument! Thanks for the new information about it also being a monument for the unknown fallen soldiers of WW I !

    • And you taught me something here as well. As I only had the GPS coordinates of the image and couldn’t hear the tour narration, I used Google Maps to locate the monument.
      When I looked up details, it only mentioned the tomb. I see now that it honors the first king and later the unknown soldiers of WW I.

      • That’s the great thing about blogs – we connect with so many people around the world and sometimes have experienced the same places and things but with different information and perspectives!

  2. I was lucky enough to visit the surprisingly large interior. It is set up for ceremonies with majestic halls and stairways. The Italians make fun of it by calling it the ‘typewriter’, although the image is a bit dated as these machines have not been around for some time now.

      • Indeed. We thought the idea of a hop on-hop off tour would be the best of both worlds. We found all the buses were overcrowded and we had to wait for multiple buses before we could get on one that had room. Never again.

      • I’ve never tried it, I prefer to be free to move around than to depend on an imposed route. But if you are short of time, the bus can tour make you know if you want to come back, or not.

      • When we spent the month in St. Augustine, Florida in January, we took one of the hop-on, hop-off trolleys to get an overview and then made it a point to stop at the places we were interested in visiting over the next few weeks.
        That worked well for us in Florida, but our stay in Rome wasn’t long enough to take advantage of returning to visit some of the places on our stops.

  3. Lovely click of Tomba del Milite Ignoto.
    I feel sad for these unknown soldier’s ultimate sacrifice which could have been avoided in the first place.
    Other than yearly remembrance in general, nobody cares even to recollect their sacrifices regularly, since life has to move on.
    Why should there be wars in the first place?
    I have no answer.
    Both sides blame each other for starting the war.
    “The tragedy of war is that it uses man’s best to do man’s worst.” Harry Emerson Fosdick

  4. Steady hands you have, John, and a beautiful shot. What an incredible monument and memorial to the unknown soldiers of past wars. I’ve seen the US Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in DC. Always sobering.

  5. Always good to remember the unknowns and this monument is an impressive way to do so. Not quite sure why I have a hard time remembering Cellpic Sunday, but here’s my link now that I did:



  6. Thank you John a beautiful building, I think I was there it looks familiar.love your pictures.☘️

  7. It’s a remarkable monument. If only humanity took its message to heart.

    That doesn’t detract from the artistry of your photograph, John. It is beautifully composed.

  8. John, what a moving story. I agree with Philo. War is so sad and seemingly meaningless deaths. Yet, when one’s life is threatened, there’s not much else a country or a people can do. Coming to the defense of others is a great reason to get involved, but those soldiers who die are never who started the conflict. I’ve been reading Judges in the Bible and the discussion is what peoples are eliminated so that the Israelites could live in the land and worship the Lord freely without idols. In those cases the Israelites were instructed to kill everyone, man, woman, child, and most of all the king. I have a hard time understanding war. Yet, I feel it is important to defend people who are attacked without provocation.

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