Capitoline Square

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Piazza del Campidoglio
Capitolium Hill aka Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, Italy on Adobe Stock

Located on one of Rome’s seven hills, the Capitoline Square was the religious (temple of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) and political heart of ancient Rome. The political role of the Piazza del Campidoglio has remained, becoming the seat of the city government.

The current appearance of this magnificent trapezoidal square is due to Michelangelo, who drew up the plans in 1536 at the request of Pope Paul III, who wanted a square worthy of the city and able to host the greats of the time.

The square was already occupied by the palaces of the Conservators and Senators. Michelangelo completed the space with a third palace (the Palazzo Nuovo) and opened the square to the modern city with the staircase surrounded by the ancient statues of Castor and Poluce.

The Capitoline Square is decorated with a geometric pavement and an ancient statue of Marcus Aurelius enthroned in the centre (the original is exhibited in the Capitoline Museum).

For a long time, this statue was confused with that of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, which allowed it to escape destruction and thus be the only surviving equestrian statue…

Michelangelo never saw this square completed, which was not finished until a century later.

This square was chosen to appear on the Italian 50 cent coin …

The Palazzo Nuovo and the Palazzo dei Conservatori house museums. The Palazzo Nuovo is the oldest public museum in the world, opened in 1734 by Pope Clement XII.

These museums house splendid collections of ancient statues (including the famous She-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus) and paintings (Veronese, Rubens, Titian…).


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