Capitoline Hill & Museums
Located in the elegant Piazza della Campidoglio (designed by Michelangelo) on
top of Capitoline Hill, the
Capitoline Museums house a world-class collection of art and archeology.
in 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV donated a collection of bronze statues to
the people of Rome, the museum did not officially open to the public
until 1734. By then a number of Popes had donated more art and historic
treasures to the collection and it was becoming significant, spreading
throughout the buildings surrounding the piazza.
Over the years, these buildings have proved unsuitable or damp and the museum's spaces have been renovated, restructured and expanded. The Roman Garden space has now been enclosed with a large glass roof to create yet another exhibition space.
The collection of the museums includes important bronze sculptures, a collection of paintings and statues declared 'pagan' by Pope Pius V and moved out of the Vatican, porcelain, coins and medals and archeological materials unearthed in Rome during its expansion after becoming capital of the newly unified Italy in 1870.