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.
Capitoline Museums
Yet another stunning museum of ancient art, in two Michelangelo-designed palaces.
Altare della Patria
This dazzling monument to the Unification of Italy dominates the skyline of Rome.
Trajan's Forum and Column
One of the more impressive Forums in the area, with a beautiful triumphal column.
Theatre of Marcellus
The Theatre of Marcellus was an ancient Roman arena built by the Emperor Augustus.
Mamertine Prison
Known in antiquity as the Tullianum, the dungeons were used to hold Saint Paul before he was beheaded.

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