It was December 1878 when in Venice there was created a committee to commemorate King Vittorio Emanuele II, who died recently. To there followed a competition attended by many artists (a total of 48 sketches), and in the end was chosen the work of the Roman sculptor Ettore Ferrari. On 14 August 1880 the contract was signed, a deal that would see the work come to light in three years.
Before the final location on the Riva degli Schiavoni, a copy of the sculpture was arranged for the test in several places in the Square: in Piazza dei Leoncini, Piazzetta San Marco and near the Palazzo Ducale, from the side of the San Marco basin. However, the temporary placement of the monument was considered out of context and it was decided to install it in front of the luxury hotels in Riva degli Schiavoni, near the dock of the boat stop “San Zaccaria”, where you can see it today.
The monument was inaugurated on 1 May 1887, in the presence of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita di Savoia.
In 2011, in view of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, the monument was restored.