Capitoline Museums Tour

Discover Ancient Rome in the oldest public museum in the world
From US$426 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Capitoline Museums
  • The Fortune Teller
  • The Burial of St. Petronilla
  • Romulus and Remus
Photos & Highlights
  • Focuses on the history of the most significant pieces of Roman and Italian treasures
  • Led by an art historian, classicist, or archaeologist
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Tour Description

Delve into Roman History among treasures of its past in the oldest public museum in the world.

The Capitoline Museums, the oldest public museum in the world, provide a unique opportunity to trace the entire history of Rome through an eclectic collection of art and artifacts, covering Roman and Italian treasures ranging from antique bronzes and marble busts to Renaissance paintings and frescoes. Explore this fascinating story in the company of an art historian, classicist, or archaeologist on our Capitoline Museums tour (also known as the Musei Capitolini). The museum complex is a monument in its own right:  the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Nuovo stand elegantly on the Michelangelo-designed Piazza del Campidoglio.

Capitoline Museums Tour

Here, in Michelangelo's Piazza del Campidoglio, we begin under the gaze of the reproduction of Marcus Aurelius' bronze equestrian statue, discussing the history of the museum and its location on Capitoline Hill, along with other important buildings, such as the Tabularium, where Rome's city hall is currently located, Palazzo dei Conservatori, and Palazzo Nuovo. We will examine the collection, founded around 1471 by Pope Sixtus IV, who donated an assortment of bronze statues to the Roman people as a symbolic gesture of the Pope's relationship with his community. The majority of the treasures contained in the Capitoline Museums have a direct link with Rome's past, giving visitors the unique opportunity to observe thousands of years of Roman artistic, political, and social history. From this vantage point, we are also afforded a breathtaking view of the Forum (also the subject of our Forum Tour) and Palatine Hill, which sets up the context for what is housed within the museum.


Our walk through the museum is not meant to showcase the entire collection, but rather to focus on the most significant pieces for understanding the art and architecture of antiquity. Treasures such as the newly restored equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the foundations of the temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, the colossal statue of Emperor Constantine, marble busts of noblemen and patricians, and bas-reliefs with scenes from Roman history allow us to view the wide range of materials and forms used in ancient art.

Those looking to learn more about Roman antiquity would also be well-served by our Colosseum Tour.


Are the Capitoline Museums accessible?
There are many stairs in the Capitoline Museums, and some of the works of art we will discuss are located on the stairwells. There are a few small elevators in some areas of the museum but in many cases, the only way to move from floor to floor is to take the stairs. Anyone with limited mobility should be aware that there will be many stairs to climb on this walk.

Do you reserve headsets for this tour? 
Depending on your group size, we may be required by the venue to order headsets in which case you’ll see a “Headset Fee” added to your order. If you would like to guarantee headsets for your tour regardless of your group size, please email us and we’ll be happy to get them reserved for you.

Where You'll Start
(4.89) 76 Reviews

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This was a stimulating and nourishing experience. Dimosthenis was friendly, warm, incredibly impressive with the extent of his knowledge and full of energy and passion for the material. It was a very happy experience for me.
The tour of the Capitoline Museums ended up being one of the highlights of our trip. Richard's knowledge and enthusiasm made the tour enjoyable and memorable for years to come. I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Rome to take the time to add this tour to the itinerary.
Cecilia was excellently prepared and guided us through a museum we knew nothing about prior. What we learned it that is an often overlooked treasure. As we learned and expressed our interests Cecilia adapted the tour so that our interests were always included as she moved us through a gallery that would have otherwise have been overwhelming. She focused us on the most important works, provided cultural and historical background and explained how the artwork we were seeing with her was connected and influenced other key masterpieces. She is wonderful.