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Museums in Rome are not hard to come by. The Capitoline Museums (musei capitolini) are along with the Borghese Gallery, and the Vatican Museums, one of the more popular museums in Rome.
The Capitoline Museums are located on the Piazza del Campidoglio, Capitoline Hill. They lie just to the south of the Piazza Venezia, with its eye-catching white monument the "Vittoriano" or Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II.
This structure is a comparatively recent addition (1911). Romans often refer to it as "the wedding cake." Certainly you cannot miss it and it does at least provide a distinctive landmark for orientation purposes.
The Piazza Venezia that stands at the foot of the Capitol is today the centre of Rome's main gyratory system where the main roads that large buses can use fan out in all directions from this centre of Rome.
Throughout the city of Rome's history the Capitol has been the seat of Rome's government, (the US Capitol Hill drawing on the name).
Today, the layout and much of what you see dates back to the 16th century when Michaelangelo created the piazza at the top of the hill, (Piazza del Campidoglio) reached by a very impressive staircase, the Cordonata.
Also on the Capitol are several smaller museums, church and great views over the Roman Forum down to the Colosseum.
The Capitoline museums lay claim to being the world's oldest national museums founded in 1471.
The Capitoline Museums are made of two buildings facing each other on the impressive Piazza del Campidoglio.
The Palazzo dei Conservatori is the main entrance and was once the main location of the city magistrates. The ground floor is still used partly as a municipal register office.
Most of the building house sculptures, though there are art galleries on the second floor. The most famous single exhibit is the “She Wolf”, a major symbol of Rome.
The collections are closely linked to the city of Rome, and most of the exhibits come from the city itself.
The official website has an excellent photographic catalogue of the exhibits and details of any exhibitions that may be on.
A particularly popular feature of a visit to the Capitoline Museum is the rooftop restaurant, with its fine views over the city of Rome.
The museum is open daily. The museum opens at 9.30am and closes at 7.30pm.
Last admission one hour before closing time.
For current prices including the rather complicated list of concessions, click through to the official website.
There can be long queues for tickets on the day so it is a smart move to buy them online.
The Capitoline Museum is one of the main attractions that you can use the Roma Pass on too.
Audio guides are available for hire in English and there is a left baggage desk for your convenience.
The Capitoline Museums is one of the simplest places to get to, your destination is the Piazza Venezia. Most Rome public buses that go through the centre will go around the Piazza Venezia at some stage, though do check.
All of the popular Rome hop-on, hop-off bus sightseeing operators stop at the Piazza Venezia.
The closest Rome Metro station is at Colosseum station (2 stops from Termini). From the Colosseum it is a pleasant 10-minute walk along the side of the Roman Forum.
The Capitoline Hill is very central for further exploration by foot, the only real option to explore the ancient city centre of Rome next to Capitoline Hill.
We have put together a series of self-guided walks of Rome connecting all the major sights of Rome (see image below).
Free self-guided walking tours of Rome details
|Vatican Museums tours & fast track tickets|
|Vatican Museums fast track tickets||From €27|
|Vatican Museums fast track tickets + audio guide||From €36|
|Vatican Museums fast track tickets + early entrance||From €60|
|Vatican Museums fast track access with optional lunch||From €66|
|Vatican Museums private tours with fast track access||Prices vary on numbers|
|St Peter's Basilica tours & fast track tickets|
|St Peter's Basilica fast-track with audio guide||From €25|
|St Peter's Basilica guided tour||From €27.50|
|St Peter's Basilica guided tour with access to cupola (Dome)||From €44|
|St Peter's & Vatican Museums combined tours|
|Vatican Museums + St Peter's (With Fast Track Access) Tour 1||From €50|
|Vatican Museums + St Peter's (With Fast Track Access) Tour 2||From €50|
|Early Access Vatican Museums Small-Group Tour with St Peter’s||From €76|
|Vatican Museums, Vatican Gardens & St Peter’s guided tour with breakfast||From €139|
|Vatican gardens tours|
|Vatican gardens walking tour||From €50|
|Vatican Gardens bus tour||From €85|
|Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill|
|Colosseum & Roman Forum fast track tickets||From €26|
|Colosseum & Roman Forum special access Belvedere, Arena & Underground||From €101|
|Walking tours (Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi...)|
|Colosseum & Roman Forum walking tour||From €54|
|Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Piazza Navona||From €61|
|Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Trevi, Navona||From €40|
|Villa Borghese Gallery|
|Villa Borghese fast track tickets||From €25|
|Villa Borghese fast track tickets + guided tour||From €44|
|Villa Borghese fast track tickets + Gardens + guided tour||From €59|
|Other popular City of Rome tours|
|Best of Rome by bike||From €55|
|Roman Gladiator lesson||From €91|
|Night tours of Rome||From €66|
|Private tours of Rome|
|Flexible customised private tours of Rome by car|
|Private sightseeing tour of Rome by golf cart|