Capitoline Museums and the Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome

The Capitoline Hill was once a sacred place to the Romans and the destination of triumphal processions, it has remained the centre of Roman life and is the headquarters of the mayor and municipality of Rome. It is here on the Capitoline Hill that you will find the Piazza del Campidoglio, which was designed by Michelangelo for Pope Paul III. Michelangelo brought the equestrian statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius from the house of Verus in 1538, it is believed that this statue survived when many others were destroyed because it was thought to have been Constantine, the first Christian Emperor. It is now, since 1997, a copy of the statue that is in the Piazza and the original is in the courtyard of the Capitoline Museum. Across the back of the piazza is the Palazzo Senatorio , which was built in the 13th century and above which is the Torre Capitolina. On the right is the Palazzo dei Conservatori which faces the Capitoline Museum. The Capitoline Museum, 1471, is the oldest public collection in the world and it houses a wonderful selection of marble sculptures among which are “The dying Gaul”, “Amore e Psyche”, “Homer”, “Young girl with dove” and the “Capitoline Venus”. In the Palazzo dei Conservatori, the official seat of Rome’s city goverment.

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