Capitoline Museums Rome
Capitoline Museums is easy walking distance from the Colosseum. It is situated in front of Rome's present-day City Hall, very close to the Roman Forum and the Victor Emmanuel monument.
Capitoline Museums is one of the oldest museums in the world. It’s an astonishing place when you can easily spend several hours reflecting on impressive sculptures, paintings and mosaics from imperial Roman times.
The history of the museums goes back to Pope Sixtus IV. In 1471 he donated a collection of important ancient bronzes that had great symbolic value to the city of Rome.
Pope Clement XII had it open to the public in 1734, making them the first museums in the world open to the public.
These two Renaissance buildings face each other on a majestic square. None other than Michelangelo himself designed it in 1536. It was completed over a period of more than 400 years.
In the courtyard you will see the huge head, hand & foot of Constantine. A statue of a mounted rider in the middle of the piazza is of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. That one is the replica, the authentic statue is inside.
Many sensational paintings can be seen here. There are Veronese, Tintoretto, Caravaggio and Van Dyck and many more. My favorite two are Caravaggio’s Fortune Teller and John the Baptist.
I was also overwhelmed by the beauty and grandeur of the many sculptures on display.
Capitoline Wolf with Romulus and Remus is one my favorite pieces of art in the Capitoline Museums. I also love Spinario (boy extracting a thorn out of his foot), Bernini's Medusa and the Dying Gaul the sad image of a warrior who is dying.
Don’t forget to see the room with the 65 busts of the Roman emperors. The one of Marcus Aurelius is something I never tire of seeing.
To get from one wing to the other do not go exit the building. You have to take the underground passage linking the two buildings. Down in the tunnel contains some burial headstones and signs that give you an insight into Roman lives. My favorite was the gravestones of a chariot racer. There is a cafe on site as well; it has good value lunches and coffee. The view of the city from this cafe is breathtaking.
You have to drop off your bags at the locker room before you enter. The fee for storage is 1 euro, but is refunded when you return the key.
You can take photos without a flash in some parts of the Capitoline Museums but not in special exhibits. There is a lot to see and I would plan to allow 3 - 4 hours to actually look around.