Campidoglio-Capitoline Hill

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by melissa_bel on June 18, 2004

In the 16th century, a gem of Roman structure was discovered: an equestrian statue of emperor Marcus Aurlius, emperor, but also philosopher. For centuries, this statue will become THE reference for any equestrian sculpture. Such a treasure deserved to be displayed in the best of settings.

It just happened that the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V was paying a visit to Rome. Worthy of this emperor title, Charles's procession would go on the Capitoline Hill, the Campidoglio. In Roman times, this hill overlooking the Forum was the center of Roman civic life. Michelangelo was put in charge of the design of the Campidoglio and he started in 1536, once again demonstrating his abilities at multi-tasking (remember, he was a sculptor, painter, architect and even a poet).

You access it by walking on gentle flight of stairs that slowly reveals the statue, put in the center and the building of the Campidoglio (now Rome's City Hall). It is graceful and harmonious and it's pure Renaissance style. Although, Michelangelo never saw it finished, his plans have mostly been respected. The famous marble "star" design surrounding the statue (you have to go up to the entrance of the City Hall to really admire it) is Michelangelo's design but was finished in the 20th century!

Go behind the city Hall and you'll find balustrade overlooking the Forum and giving you an extensive view, all the way to the Coliseum.

Rome, Italy

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