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Musei Capitolini

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 13

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"To avoid the crowds at the Musei Capitolini in Rome, plan to visit mid-week and opt for the late afternoon hours when tour groups tend to dissipate. Also, don't miss the hidden gem inside Palazzo dei Conservatori: the courtyard containing the remnants of the colossal statue of Constantine, which many visitors overlook in their rush to see the main exhibitions."

What is Musei Capitolini?

The Musei Capitolini, or the Capitoline Museums, is a collection of art and archaeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy. Considered to be one of the world's oldest museums, this revered institution is actually a group of art and archeological museums, housing a significant collection of ancient Roman statues, inscriptions, and other artifacts, as well as collections of medieval and Renaissance art.

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Established by Pope Sixtus IV in the 15th century, the museums are located in three main buildings surrounding the central trapezoidal piazza designed by Michelangelo: Palazzo dei Conservatori, Palazzo Nuovo, and the more recent Central Montemartini station. The interconnected cosmos of history, architecture, and art makes Musei Capitolini a focal point for anyone looking to delve deeply into the cultural heritage of Rome.

History of Musei Capitolini

The roots of Musei Capitolini trace back to 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV donated a collection of important bronze statues to the people of Rome, thus starting the public collection which would evolve into the museums. These statues were placed on the Capitoline Hill, and their historical significance has been a source of pride for the city ever since. It was only during the Renaissance, under the influence of Michelangelo, that the square and the buildings received a new design, aligning with the grandeur of the art they housed.

The idea of a public museum was revolutionary in its time, marking a shift from private collections of the elite to a collection belonging to the citizens of Rome. The Capitoline Museums grew over the centuries as successive Popes and private donors enriched the collections with more sculptures, coins, jewels, and other artistic treasures. This growth not only expanded the museums' offerings but also played a part in our understanding of Roman history, as many of the artifacts are key to comprehending the city's past.

Why is Musei Capitolini Important?

The Musei Capitolini is pivotal for several reasons. It acts as a repository of Rome's long and complex history, showcasing art that spans from the ancient Roman times to the Renaissance and beyond. Items like the iconic equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the Capitoline Wolf, the Dying Gaul, and the original bronze sculptures donated by Pope Sixtus IV speak of a narrative that has shaped the understanding of Western civilization.

Moreover, the museum is an emblem of the world's cultural patrimony, emphasizing the role public accessibility to art plays in education and preservation. Its extensive collection provides insight into how artistic expression has evolved and is instrumental in art historical scholarship. For residents and visitors alike, the Musei Capitolini holds a mirror to humanity's artistic achievements and remains a source of national pride and global admiration.

Things to Do & See at Musei Capitolini

Once you set foot in the Musei Capitolini, the sheer volume of art and artifacts will beckon you to take a journey through history. Begin with the monumental statues and frescoes in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, which include pieces from the foundations of the Roman Empire. Then, contemplate the beauty of the famous she-wolf sculpture suckling Romulus and Remus, an emblem of Rome itself.

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The Palazzo Nuovo is home to some of the most celebrated marble sculptures like the Capitoline Venus and the Galleries leading to the Tabularium, offering an exceptional view of the Roman Forum. The museums regularly feature temporary exhibitions, often tied to anniversaries or special events, which give an even deeper perspective on the vast timelines these collections represent. Don't miss the chance to visit the Picture Gallery with paintings by Caravaggio, Titian, and Rubens.

Finally, my personal recommendation would be to take a moment to appreciate the synergy of art, architecture, and history while standing in the central square designed by Michelangelo. Before leaving, make sure to walk out onto the terrace of the café for a panoramic view of the Roman Forum – a serene and fitting end to an immersive experience in history and art.

Frequently asked questions

What are the Musei Capitolini?

The Musei Capitolini are a group of art and archeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy. They are considered to be among the oldest public museums in the world.

What can I see at the Musei Capitolini?

At the Musei Capitolini, you can see a vast collection of ancient Roman statues, inscriptions, and artifacts along with medieval and Renaissance art, coins, and jewels. The museums are also home to iconic masterpieces such as the bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius, the Capitoline Wolf, and the Dying Gaul.

How do I get tickets to the Musei Capitolini?

Tickets to the Musei Capitolini can be purchased online through the official website or at the ticket office on-site. It is recommended to buy tickets in advance to avoid long queues, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Are there guided tours available for the Musei Capitolini?

Yes, guided tours are available at the Musei Capitolini. Visitors can join group tours or book a private guide to get a more comprehensive understanding of the exhibits and the history of the museum. Information on tours can be found on the museum's website or by inquiring at the ticket office.

When is the best time to visit the Musei Capitolini?

The best time to visit the Musei Capitolini is during the weekday mornings when the museums are less crowded. This provides a more peaceful atmosphere to appreciate the art and artifacts. Additionally, visiting outside of the peak tourist season (July and August) can result in a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 13

Find it on google maps