The Capitoline museums
The oldest public museum in the world, launched by Pope Sixtus IV in 1471
Founded in 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV donated a number of bronze statues to the people of Rome, they are the oldest public museums in the world. The collection or art works and archaeological relics are housed in two buildings which, together with Palazzo Senatorio, flank Michelangelo’s magnificent Piazza del Campidoglio: the Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo.
The latter two buildings are interconnected by an underground tunnel containing the Galleria Lapidaria and leading to the Tabularium, the official records office of ancient Rome, whose immense arches open out onto the Roman Forum. The original equestrian state of Emperor Marcus Aurelius is preserved inside Palazzo Nuovo (a fine replica of which is visible in the centre of the square outside).
The Capitoline Museums also offer one of the best spots to enjoy a well-deserved break in the whole of Rome: Palazzo Caffarell’s terrace, a roof-top café providing a breathtaking view of the city’s domes. Here time off can taken for brunch or a delicious Italian sandwich, various snacks, or simply to sip a coffee, tea, cocktail or liqueur.
Piazza del Campidoglio, 1
Via del Tempio di Giove
Open daily, from 9.30am to 7.30pm;
24 and 31 December: 9.30 am - 2.00 pm
Last admission 1 hour before closing time.
Closed: January 1, May 1, December 25
fax: 0039 06 6785488