Audio File length: 2.33
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, I'm James, your personal guide. Together with MyWoWo, I'd like to welcome you to one of the wonders of the world.

Today I'll accompany you through Campidoglio, or Capitoline Hill.

This area of Rome has more connections with the past than perhaps any other!

It is one of the seven historical hills on which Rome was founded and developed, and is the hill which held the greatest religious and political importance. A temple was erected at the top of Capitoline Hill in 509 BC that was dedicated to the so-called "Capitoline Triad" consisting of the city's three main divinities: Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. Just like the acropolis in Athens, Capitoline Hill has always been the seat of Rome's government, and is still the seat of town hall.

If you have already climbed to the top of the hill using the Aracoeli staircase, simply walk past the church and enter the square. Otherwise, walk along the "cordonata", which is the large, stately ramp that leads to the square and was built in the first half of the 1500s based on Michelangelo's design: his goal was to provide one of the most important parts of the city with a worthy entrance. Once you reach the end of the ramp, you'll see some statues along the balustrade that surrounds the square, including those of Castor and Pollux next to their horses: large and severe, they date back to the 1300s.

And now you've finally reached the wonderful Piazza del Campidoglio designed by Michelangelo: it is one of the urban masterpieces of the Renaissance. It looks like a forum enclosed between noble palaces of the same style and size, but also looks like a sort of idyllic city above Rome that opens up to unforgettable views which are different at each of the different intermediate levels.

Michelangelo's arrangement, which respects the square's delicate charm and also invents new solutions that meet the location's extreme dignity, transforms Campidoglio into a real terrace overlooking the city on one side and the ancient Roman Forum on the other.


FUN FACT: Capitoline Hill is quite famous for the legend of its geese. At the time of the Republic, the Romans had been besieged by the army of the Gauls, and had barricaded themselves in Capitoline Hill. The Gauls tried to approach the Hill silently at night, but Juno's sacred geese began to honk, warning the defenders, who therefore had enough time to prepare an effective counterattack.

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