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Visiting the Capitoline Museums & the Capitoline Hill

Capitoline Museums, Rome - opening hours, tickets and how to get there

Capitoline Museum (Palazzo Nuevo) Rome
Palazzo Nuevo is one of two buildings that make up the Capitoline Museum

Location of Capitoline Museums

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.

About Capitoline Hill

The Cordonata up to the Capitoline Museum
The Cordonata - staircase to the Capitoline Museum

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 - what is there?

The She-Wolf symbol of Rome at Capitoline Museum
The She Wolf symbol of Rome

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.

Capitoline Museums - opening hours and tickets

Piazza Venezia - 'The Wedding Cake' Rome
Piazza Venezia at Capitoline Hill

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.

Getting to the Capitoline Museums

Hop-on, hop-off bus stopping at Capitoline Museums, Rome
All the hop-on buses stop at Piazza Venezia

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


Sightseeing walking map of Rome

MOST POPULAR ROME TOURS 2020

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