Capitoline Hill

The ceremonial centre of ancient Rome, rejuvenated by Michelangelo in the Renaissance and offering amazing views over the Forum.

TravelCurious Tip

Follow the Via del Campidoglio for the most exquisite view over the Roman Forum.

Romulus and more

The Capitoline is perhaps history's most famous hill. Along with Palatine Hill on the opposite side of the Roman Forum, it is the site of one of Rome’s earliest settlements. According to tradition the Roman State was established when a truce was made between the rulers of these two hills, Rome’s patron Romulus and Titus Tatius.

Today the Capitoline, sometimes called the Campidoglio, remains an iconic destination. Looking up from the bottom of the hill visitors will see a large stepped gangway flanked by two huge stone statues of the Dioscuri, the divine twins Castor and Pollux, with their horses. They guard the entrance to the large and beautiful Piazza del Campidoglio, which was commissioned by Pope Paul III and designed by Michelangelo.

Michelangelo steps in

The Piazza is surrounded by three superb Renaissance palaces, also the work of Michelangelo: two of these now function as the Capitoline Museums, which are filled with archaeological finds from every era of Roman history, with a particular emphasis on the importance of the hill as a sacred place during the Roman Empire. Indeed, since before the Empire many important temples were erected here, the largest and most famous being the Temple of Jupiter, the remains of which can be viewed inside the Museum.

During the Middle Ages the site continued as a centre for civic activity, before falling somewhat into disrepair before Michelangelo's Renaissance interventions. Dominating the middle ground of the piazza is a huge bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, a copy of the ancient Roman original which once stood in its place and is now on display in the Museum. Much of Rome’s history is concentrated on Capitoline Hill - and your climb up is rewarded with a fantastic view.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Rome
Roman Forum
The political, religious and civic heart of ancient Rome.
Temple of Caesar
Remains of the temple of Julius Caesar.
Curia Julia
The seat of the imperial Senate in the Roman Forum.
Piazza Venezia
Is one of the main squares in Rome and takes its name from the Palazzo Venezia, built by the Venetian Cardinal, Pietro Barbo alongside the church of Saint Mark.
Jewish Ghetto
For over 300 years all the Jews in Rome were restricted to this small area; today it is a vibrant and fascinating district.
Theatre of Marcellus
The Theatre of Marcellus was an ancient Roman arena built by the Emperor Augustus.

Related Tours

The Life of Julius Caesar: Rome Private Half-Day Walking Tour
Explore the Rome of Julius Caesar, born to an impoverished aristocratic family in the ‘suburban’ with zero political ambitions, Julius Caesar was not expected to become a consul of Rome let alone its sole dictator in perpetuity, and one of the most famous and influential men in history. 

On your private tour, you will:

  • Begin at the mighty Circus Maximus, where Caesar will have come to watch the races, famous for being the largest stadium for chariot racing in the world, with marble seating for over 250,000 spectators. Learn all about this popular, and highly dangerous sport;
  • Admire the stunning views of the ancient palaces of the Palatine cascading down the hill;
  • Hear all about the importance of public games for the smooth running of society: ‘Give them bread and circuses!
  • Learn all about the early life of Julius Caesar and his unlikely, stratospheric political and military rise to power;
  • Wander down the hill towards the River Tiber and look over the bridge to Trastevere where Julius Caesar had a villa and where he housed Cleopatra;
  • Discover Teatro Marcellus, an ancient open-air theatre used for artistic performances; 
  • See the ruins of the ancient fish market and the Portico d’Ottavia: the building of which was begun by Julius, and completed by his adopted son Octavian - better known as Caesar Augustus, who dedicated it to his sister, Octavia;
  • Head towards the centre of governance in Ancient Rome, the Capitoline Hill
  • Be wowed by the spectacular view overlooking the ruins of the Roman Forum, the cradle of the gods and of ancient civilization, and at the far end, the Colosseum;
  • See the buildings that were begun by Caesar including the temple to Venus, the Curia, and his spy's humble resting place in the centre of the Forum;
  • Across the Fori Imperiali (built by Mussolini) you’ll see the ruins of Trajan’s Forum and the firewall built to protect the forum and the suburban from fire;
  • Wander through the ruins to see some of the Suburra where Caesar was born and raised, now a trendy neighbourhood called Monti;
  • Walk back through Piazza Venezia, through the picturesque Jewish Ghetto toward the spectacular ruins at Largo Argentina;
  • End your tour here with the dramatic story of Caesar’s assassination, on those very steps! Stabbed 23 times by his enemies so the blame was shared; including his trusted friend, Brutus, is where the mighty Julius Caesar was finally toppled. ‘Beware the ides of March'.

From the slum neighbourhood of his birth to where he met his grisly end, the city, empire and culture of Rome owe much to Julius Caesar. With your private guide, gain an insight into Caesar's dominance as Consul of Rome. 

Learn all about his upbringing, private life (he was very much a lady’s man) and his military prowess that led to the Triumvirate with Pompey and Crassus – the betrayals and power play, and finally the crossing of the Rubicon. 

Julius Caesar was very much the people’s politician. He was loved by the people who considered him ‘one of them’. This popularity may have led to his hubris and downfall. Rome’s motto is SPQR (Senatus et Populusque Romanus) meaning the Senate and the People of Rome. 

Julius had the will of the people but arrogantly stopped consulting the senate. This cost him dearly, and on the ides of March 44 BC, he was assassinated, stabbed 23 times on the steps leading to the temporary senate-house, at Largo Argentina. 

An astute politician and brilliant military strategist Caesar powered Rome into expansion, decisively defeating enemies and winning the hearts and minds of the common people. Each successful war assured him of the undying loyalty of his soldiers, who followed him into battle after battle. His life and death, are the stories of legends with unions that include a love affair with Cleopatra. 

The contributions he made have echoed through history - including the introduction of the Julian Calendar in Rome, setting the year at 365.25 days, divided into 12 months. 

Your Tour of Julius Caesar’s Rome will delve into the archaeological roots of the city to follow in his footsteps. Discover Caesar’s place of birth in 100BCE - Suburra, a down-and-out area where the trendy area of Monti now stands, and end your tour where his life ended brutally on the steps of the theatre of Pompey at Largo Argentina. 


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