Capitoline Museums, Rome Established in the late 15th century, Rome’s Capitoline Museums provide an impressive look at Roman art and archaeology. Overview Situated at the Campidoglio square on top of the Capitoline Hill – thus their name – the Capitoline Museums are a must-see for visitors who are entranced by ancient Roman history and welcome the chance to view some of the city’s best treasures. The museums, housed in two palaces, are situated around a central square – or piazza – designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536 and completed over a period of more than 400 years. The museums are connected via an underground tunnel, which also leads to the ancient Tabularium. The origins of the museums can be traced a little further back – to 1471 – when Pope Sixtus IV donated his impressive collection of ancient bronzes to the city for public viewing. He placed them in a structure atop Capitoline Hill. The museums are now owned by the city. Palazzo dei Conservatori Entry to the museums is at the Palazzo dei Conservatori, the building on the right hand side coming from the Cordonata stairs. The 16th century palace, three-stories high, houses a variety of different kinds of artistic treasures. Roman sculpture is plentiful. Visitors can also view the Conservator’s Apartment on the 2nd floor, open to the public and full of interesting works of art and furniture.turkeyarena.com The third floor is home to the Capitoline Art Gallery, housing the museums' painting and applied art galleries. You’ll also find an excellent collection of coins, medals, and jewelry on this floor. Parts of a colossal 4th century statue of emperor Constantine II are displayed in the palazzo's courtyard. Palazzo Nuovo Palazzo Nuovo, designed by Michelangelo in the 17th century to complement the Palazzo dei Conservatori, offers two floors of ancient Roman artifacts including statues, sarcophagi, busts, and intricate mosaics. Several notable sculptures can also be viewed in this section of the Capitoline Museums. Some of the most famous include the 'dying Gaul' and a statue of emperor Marcus Aurelius. A replica of the latter stands at the center of the Campidoglio square. Epigraphic Gallery and Tabularium In addition to the two aforementioned buildings is the Galleria Congiunzione, which links the palazzos underground. The underground tunnel houses the Galleria Lapidaria, a collection of epigraphs. It is linked to the Tabularium, an ancient building used to house the official records of Rome. In the Middle Ages, the Palazzo Senatorio was built on top of the Tabularium. Some remains of old temples can be seen here. The Tabularium Gallery also offers great views over the Roman Forum.