What to see at the Capitoline Museums in Rome: timetables, prices and advice

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The Capitoline Museums are the oldest public museums in the world and the most important municipal museums in Rome. Located in the beautiful setting of Piazza del Campidoglio, they are easily accessible both on foot and by public transport. Within their walls you will find both ancient works, dating back to Ancient Rome, and paintings by great European painters.
If you find yourself in the Eternal City for a few days, or even just for a weekend, we advise you to add them to your program, you will not be absolutely disappointed!


  1. What to see and how to visit the Capitoline Museums
  2. Lupa capitolina
  3. Colossal statue of Constantine
  4. Bust of Medusa
  5. Capitoline Venus
  6. Relief from an honorary monument of Marcus Aurelius: Triumph
  7. Statue of the Capitoline Galata
  8. The Good Ventura
  9. San Sebastiano
  10. Romolo e Remo
  11. Love and Psyche
  12. Hours and prices
  13. Online tickets and guided tours
  14. User questions and comments

What to see and how to visit the Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums occupy two of the most impressive buildings in Piazza del Campidoglio: the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Nuovo, connected to each other by an underground passage called the Lapidary Gallery. Thanks to this gallery, you can cross Piazza Campidoglio without having to leave the museum.

Il Palazzo dei Conservatori it dates back to 1400 and was the seat of the elective magistracy, which administered the city. Today it contains a large art gallery and in its exhibition rooms you can admire the beautiful statue of the Capitoline Wolf, as well as works by painters such as Caravaggio, Titian and Tintoretto.

Il New Palaceinstead, it was built in the th century and is mainly dedicated to sculptures, almost all Roman copies of Greek originals.
But among all these wonders, let's see together what they are 10 works to see at the Capitoline Museums.

1 - Capitoline Wolf

The work par excellence of the Capitoline Museums is the Capitoline Wolf, symbol of Rome. It is believed that it is of Etruscan manufacture and that it has been in Rome since ancient times. It was donated to the city by Pope Sixtus IV. The twins were added in a later period, presumably at the end of the th century, according to some created by Antonio del Pollaiolo.

  • Date: XII-XII century
  • Living Room: Conservators' apartment, Sala della Lupa

2 - Colossal statue of Constantine

What you will see are just some of the remains of the colossal statue of Constantine that used to be in the Basilica of Maxentius in Rome. From the remains, it is assumed that at the time the statue was seated and probably reached 12 meters. The head alone has a height of 2,60 meters.

  • Date: 313-324 AD
  • Living Room: Museum of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Courtyard

3 - Bust of Medusa

Medusa had the power to petrify anyone who met her gaze. In this bust, Bernini represents the exact moment in which the woman begins to petrify after looking at herself in the mirror. His eyes, in fact, transmit pain and anguish.

  • Author: Gian Lorenzo Bernini
  • Date: 1644/1648
  • Living Room: Conservators' Apartment, Room of the Geese

4 - Capitoline Venus

The Capitoline Venus is one of the best known sculptures in the museum. In marble, almost 2 meters high, it represents the goddess of love and beauty Venus-Aphrodite. It was found near the Basilica San Vitale between 1666 and 1670 and was donated to the Capitoline Museums in 1752 at the behest of Pope Benedict XIV.

  • Date: Roman copy of a Greek original from the nd century BC
  • Living Room: Palazzo Nuovo, Cabinet of Venus

5 - Relief from an honorary monument of Marcus Aurelius: Triumph

On the shelves of the Staircase you will find large historical reliefs which, in Ancient Rome, decorated important public monuments. One of these is the relief from the honorary monument of Marcus Aurelius, on a chariot drawn by four horses, celebrating his triumph in the war.

  • Date: 176/180 AD
  • Living Room: Museum of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Staircase

6 - Statue of the Capitoline Galata

This statue, one of the best known in the collection, is a copy of an original parchment. A date to which it can be traced has not yet been chosen, although some historians date it to the Caesarian age. The statue represents a wounded Rooster sitting on the ground.

  • Date: not yet defined
  • Living Room: Palazzo Nuovo, Hall of the Gladiator

7 - The Good Ventura

This oil on canvas picture was painted by Caravaggio when he frequented the workshop of the Cavalier d'Arpino in Rome. The work depicts a gypsy reading the hand of a young knight and who, without being noticed, takes the opportunity to take off the ring.

  • Author: Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio
  • Date: 1595
  • Living Room: Capitoline Picture Gallery, Santa Petronilla Room

8 - San Sebastian

The painting depicts St. Sebastian with his hands tied and his body pierced by three braids. Besides this painting, Guido Reni painted others with the same subject, which are exhibited in other museums, such as the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Bologna or the Louvre in Paris.

  • Author: Guido Reni
  • Date: 1615/1616
  • Living Room: Capitoline Picture Gallery, Room IV

9 - Romulus and Remus

The work has been part of the Campidoglio collections since 1750. This painting depicts the legend of the birth of Rome and shows Romulus and Remus being suckled by the she-wolf near the Tiber.

  • Author: Peter Paul Rubens
  • Date: 1612
  • Living Room: Capitoline Picture Gallery, Santa Petronilla Room

10 - Cupid and Psyche

The myth of Cupid and Psyche, a story created by the Latin writer Apuleius, has always enchanted the world. This work represents them in the likeness of two young children, embraced, with the intent of kissing. The sculpture, entirely in marble, is one of the most beautiful in the entire collection.

  • Date: from a Greek original of the nd century BC
  • Living Room: Palazzo Nuovo, Hall of the Gladiator

Hours and prices

  • open every day from 9:30 to 19:30, on 24 and 31 December from 9:30 to 14:00; closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.
  • Best time to avoid queues: you can buy tickets directly online to avoid the queue at the ticket office
  • full ticket € 14,00
  • Reductions: reduced ticket € 12,00 for EU citizens between 18 and 25 years old
  • Free: children under 6, groups of elementary and middle schools, handicapped people and a companion

Online tickets and guided tours

Useful tips for visiting the attraction

  1. Get up early: as you can imagine, these museums have a high rate of visits, so we recommend that you arrive at least half an hour before opening time.
  2. Buy the city card: the Capitoline Museums are part of the Roma Pass. There are two different passes: the 48-hour pass for € 29,00 and the 72-hour pass for € 39,50. Both provide discounted admissions to various museums, in addition to free admission to the first with the 48-hour one and the first two with the 72-hour one, It also allows you to use the means of transport for free.
  3. Priority ticket: there is no priority ticket, but by purchasing it online you can skip the queue at the ticket office - Rome: entrance ticket to the Capitoline Museums
  4. Watch out for restrictions: a free cloakroom is provided to leave bulky bags, coats and umbrellas; it is not allowed to take pictures with flash or tripod; enter with animals, except for small dogs to be carried in the carrier; it is also forbidden to smoke, consume food and drinks.
  5. Minimum time: given the large collections present in the museums, we advise you to dedicate at least 2/3 hours to the visit.

Where they are and how to get there

  • On foot: located in Piazza del Campidoglio, near the altare della patria and the Roman Forum - Get directions
  • By bus: the closest stop is Ara Coeli / Piazza Venezia where buses 30, 51, 81, 83, 85, 87, 118, 130F, 160, 170, 628, C3, N9 pass
  • By metro: the nearest metro stop is about 10 minutes on foot and is the "Colosseum", where line B passes

Historical notes and curiosities: what to know in brief

The Capitoline Museums were born in 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV decided to donate an entire collection of bronzes to the city of Rome, among which there was also the Capitoline Wolf. Over the years the collection increased, up to 1734, when the museums were opened to the public at the behest of Pope Clement XII. His decision meant that the Capitoline Museums became the first museums in the world. This is because, for the first time, the works of art on display could be seen by everyone and not just by the owners.

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