The Capitoline Museum – Musei Capitolini – is a museum of the city of Rome itself. It dates back to 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated a series of sculptures that had previously been kept in the Lateran. The return of some of Rome’s history to the City’s symbolic center created a feel of revival that matched the current Renaissance. More notable works were added to the Museum’s collection when Pope Pius V decided to rid the Vatican of “pagan” images.
The Capitoline Museum is housed in two main buildings: the Palazzo dei Conservatori, and the Palazzo Nuovo. These buildings combine with the Palazzo Senatorio to form Michelangelo’s architectural plan for the square. The museum entrance is through the Palazzo dei Conservatori, which is home to sculptures like the Capitoline Wolf and the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius. The Pinacoteca on the second floor is the art gallery, with works by Titian, Tintoretto, Van Dyck, Rubens and Caravaggio.
The Conservatori is linked to Palazzo Nuovo by a tunnel through the Tabularium. From the exterior, this building is identical to Palazzo dei Conservatori. Inside, this building also houses many powerhouse sculptures, such as the 3rd century BC works known as the Dying Gaul and the Capitoline Venus.
If you plan to visit, the museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00am until 8:00pm, except for December 25, January 1, and May 1. The late closing makes this an ideal stop for a late afternoon visit. Tickets can be bought online, or at the museum entrance on the Campidoglio.
For more information, visit the Museum’s webpage Here.