Piazza del Campidoglio and Capitoline Museum
Piazza del Campidoglio was designed by Michelangelo in the 1500's after an emperor became embarrassed at the muddy and sad state of the plaza. He re-did the facades of the two existing buildings and added a third and a set of stairs to complete the piazza - the design in the center is famous. The buildings now house the Capitoline Museum. Michelangelo died before very much work had been completed but it was finished mostly to his plan after his death. The statues on the piazza are of Marcus Aurelius on his horse in center and two statues sit at the top of the steps - the twins Castor and Pollux.
Inside is the most amazing collection of Roman artistic pieces to be found anywhere. The Capitoline Museum was established in 1734 and is the first ever public museum. By this time the Popes had started giving back to the city some of what they had "acquired" over time and it was put into this museum to be put on proper display for all to see. Our favorite piece in the entire museum is the Dying Gaul - the subtlety and softness are amazing! Bernini's Medusa is here as well, along with the Capitoline Venus. You also see the famous Spinario and the Red Faun. The She-Wolf with Romulus and Remus is the symbol of the city. The rest are of things we liked, a chariot, a young girl, a fountain. The painting is called "Judith", which is Curt's mom's name so we took a picture for her!