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
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.
Michelangelo himself was responsible for the beautiful Piazza del Campidoglio at the top of the Capitol Hill. In the center of this square stands an equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius.
Even today the Campidoglio still houses the seat of Rome’s city council, in the form of the Palazzo Senatorio. This is the central one of the three buildings flanking the Piazza.
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 Victor Emmanuel 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.