The Capitoline Museums form an integral part of the art and archeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, and are situated at the top of the famous Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy. The museums are segmented in three palazzi which encircle the central trapezoidal piazza in a plan which was conceived by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536, and executed over an extremely long period of more than 400 years. The rich history of the Capitoline Museums dates back to 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV donated a dazzling collection of significant ancient bronzes to the people of Rome, and placed them on Capitoline Hill. From that period onward the museums’ collections have started to expand immensely. Presently, the museum comprises of a diverse array of ancient Roman statues, inscriptions, and other artifacts as well as a collection of medieval and Renaissance art; and a dazzling collections of jewels, coins, and other items.
The Capitoline Museums are owned by the municipality of Rome and many Roman statues were destroyed on the orders of Christian Church authorities in the Middle Ages, but the statue of the mounted rider in the center of the piazza of Emperor Marcus Aurelius remains till today.
The museums are categorized into three main buildings which surround the Piazza del Campidoglio and are interlinked by an underground gallery beneath the piazza. The three main buildings of the Capitoline Museums are as below:
- Palazzo Senatorio was constructed in the 12th century, and revamped according to Michelangelo’s designs.
- Palazzo dei Conservatori was originally constructed in the mid-16th century and then again redesigned by Michelangelo with the first use of the giant order column design.
- Palazzo Nuovo was constructed in the 17th century with an identical exterior design to match the Palazzo dei Conservatori which it faces across the palazzo.
Along with these three segments the museum also takes pride in its comparatively new addition which is the 16th century Palazzo Caffarelli-Clementino, situated right at the piazza adjacent to the Palazzo dei Conservatori, which was added to the museum complex in the beginning of the 20th century. Thus there is little doubt regarding the fact that Capitoline Museums are presently considered to be one of the most renowned tourist attractions in Rome, and have received rave reviews from spectators.
Capitoline Museums Map
Facts about Capitoline Museums
- The Capitoline Museums were opened to the public in 1734.
- Palazzo Nuovo’s prominent structures include a statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Dying Gaul, and a Roman replica of the Greek ‘Discobolus’.
- Another name of the Capitoline Museums is Musei Capitolini.
Where is Capitoline Museums?
The Capitoline Museums are located in Rome, Italy. They can be reached within a half-hour drive from the Fiumicino Airport.
Best time to visit Capitoline Museums
The best time to visit the Capitoline Museums is from April to June and late September to October when the temperatures are generally mild, and Rome is crowd-free.
Capitoline Museums Hours
The museum opens on Tuesdays through Sundays from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm.
Capitoline Museums Tickets
The entrance ticket costs €7,80. There are two places in the Capitoline Museums, and the entry ticket is valid for both the places.
More on Capitoline Museums
Nearby Attractions: Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), Crypta Balbi, Great Synagogue of Rome, and Palazzo Farnese.