Capitoline Hill Rome

The Capitoline Hill, for which the seat of the American Congress is named, was the most central hill of ancient Rome. At its southern side stood the Temple of Jupiter, which was the focal point of the Roman world. It is here that the most important ceremonies and rituals took place. Throughout the city’s history, the Capitol has remained the seat of municipal government. Today’s city council, the Comune di Roma, meets in the Palazzo Senatorio on the Piazza del Campidoglio.

Capitoline Hill Rome

History and description

Cordonata with the Palazzo Senatorio in the background.
Cordonata and Palazzo Senatorio

Two sets of steps lead to the top of the Capitoline Hill. The steps leading up to the Piazza del Campidoglio are known as the Cordonata. To the left of these steps is another set of steps leading up to the Santa Maria in Aracoeli church.

The central one of the three buildings facing the square is the Palazzo Senatorio. This is the seat of the city council.

The other two are the Palazzo Nuovo en the Palazzo dei Conservatori. Together these two buildings form the seat of the Capitoline Museums. They are connected by the Tabularium, a hallway underneath the Palazzo Senatorio.

On the north side of the hill the Monument for Vittorio Emanuele towers above the Piazza Venezia and most of the rest of the city.

On the south side of the Capitol Hill is the Tarpeian Rock. Traitors were thrown from this steep cliff in ancient Roman days.

The ruins to the left of these steps belong to an ancient Roman insula (a sort of apartment block).

Not much is left of the Temple of Jupiter. The ruins are located behind the Palazzo dei Conservatori, but cannot be visited.

Panoramic views from Capitol Hill

Crossing the square and walking on the left past the Palazzo Senatorio, you come to one of Rome’s most invocative panoramas, a view over the Roman Forum, with the Colosseum in the background.

Climb the Cordonata and turn right. Go through the archway till you come to the end of the garden on your right. This vantage point offers a magnificent view over the rooftops of the western part of the historical center.

The steps to the left of the Cordonata lead to the beautiful Santa Maria in Aracoeli Church. Don’t enter, but turn left and then right. Walk past the entrance to the panoramic lift till you come to the cafe. Also from here, you have the entore Forum in front of you.

Campidoglio – Rome

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