The Musei Capitolini, or Capitoline Museums, are a group of art and archaeological museums in Rome, Italy. They are located on the Capitoline Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome, and are the oldest public museums in the world. The museums house a vast collection of ancient Roman art and artifacts, as well as works from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
The Musei Capitolini was founded in 1471 by Pope Sixtus IV, who donated a collection of ancient bronze sculptures to the people of Rome. The museums were opened to the public in 1734, and have since been expanded to include three separate buildings: the Palazzo dei Conservatori, the Palazzo Nuovo, and the Pinacoteca Capitolina.
Palazzo dei Conservatori
The Palazzo dei Conservatori is the oldest building in the Musei Capitolini complex, and was originally built as the seat of the Roman Senate. The building houses a collection of ancient Roman sculptures, including the famous Capitoline Wolf, a bronze statue of a she-wolf suckling two infants. The Capitoline Wolf is a symbol of Rome, and is believed to date back to the 5th century BC.
The Palazzo Nuovo was built in the 16th century, and houses a collection of ancient Roman and Greek sculptures. Some of the most famous works in the Palazzo Nuovo include the Dying Gaul, a marble statue of a dying Gallic warrior; the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius, a bronze statue of the Roman emperor; and the Venus of the Capitols, a marble statue of the goddess Venus.
The Pinacoteca Capitolina is a painting gallery that houses a collection of paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Some of the most famous works in the Pinacoteca Capitolina include Caravaggio's The Fortune Teller, Titian's Portrait of Paul III, and Guido Reni's The Rape of Europa.
Visiting the Musei Capitolini
The Musei Capitolini is open to the public from 9:30am to 7:30pm, seven days a week. Admission is €11 for adults, and €8 for students and seniors. Children under six years old are admitted free.
The museums are located on Capitoline Hill, which is accessible by public transportation. The nearest metro station is Colosseo.
Tips for Visiting the Musei Capitolini
- The Musei Capitolini are a popular tourist destination, so it is best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds.
- The museums are quite large, so it is a good idea to plan your visit in advance and decide which works of art and artifacts you are most interested in seeing.
- There are several cafes and restaurants located in the Musei Capitolini complex, so you can take a break for lunch or a snack during your visit.
- The museums offer a variety of guided tours and educational programs. These can be a great way to learn more about the museums' collections and history.
Highlights of the Musei Capitolini
Here are some of the highlights of the Musei Capitolini:
- Capitoline Wolf: This bronze statue of a she-wolf suckling two infants is a symbol of Rome, and is believed to date back to the 5th century BC.
- Dying Gaul: This marble statue of a dying Gallic warrior is one of the most famous works of ancient Roman sculpture.
- Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius: This bronze statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius is one of the best-preserved equestrian statues in the world.
- Venus of the Capitols: This marble statue of the goddess Venus is one of the most famous statues of Venus in the world.
- Caravaggio's The Fortune Teller: This painting depicts a young woman having her fortune told by an old woman. It is one of Caravaggio's most famous paintings.
- Titian's Portrait of Paul III: This painting depicts Pope Paul III seated in a chair. It is one of Titian's most famous portraits.
- Guido Reni's The Rape of Europa: This painting depicts the Greek myth of the Rape of Europa, in which Zeus, disguised as a white bull, abducts Europa and swims her to Crete.
The Musei Capitolini are a must-see for anyone visiting Rome. The museums house a vast collection of art and artifacts from ancient Rome, the Renaissance, and the Baroque periods. There is something for everyone to enjoy at the Musei Capitolini, from the famous Capitoline Wolf to the masterpieces of Caravaggio and Titian.
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