The Capitoline Hill is the smallest and most important of the seven hills of Ancient Rome. It still remains the heart of modern city of Rome and makes the perfect starting point for a visit of the city.
Excavations proved that the first settlement here was built in the Iron Age. The Capitoline Hill was an ideal place for the early settlers since it was situated near a ford across the Tiber and its steep rocky slopes provided a natural protection against enemies. The hill had two summits: the Arx to the north and the lower but larger Capitolium to the south. The area in between was called the Asylum. It was a place where refugees from other states could find shelter.
Rome’s kings built massive temples on the Capitoline Hill which meant to symbolize the position of Rome as a heart of the world.
- Temple of Jupiter. This is the largest and the most impressive among all the temples located on the hill. The gilded temple was the most important sanctuary in ancient Rome. It was built in the sixth century BC on the Capitolium summit by Tarquinius Priscus, the first Etruscan king of Rome.
- Tarpeian Rock. There is a legend that the Tarpeian Rock, situated just south of the Temple of Jupiter, was named after a Roman woman called Tarpeia, who helped the Sabines conquer the Capitoline Hill during the reign of Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome.
- Temple of Juno Moneta. It was built in 344-343 BC on the order of the city’s military leader Marcus Furius Camilius and was dedicated to the goddess Juno.
- Tabularium. It housed the state archives and was built between the Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Juno. It was a large building with several colonnaded stories that looked out over the Forum Romanum.
Location: Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome
Nearby sights: Capitoline Museums, Piazza del Campidoglio, Santa Maria in Aracoeli
How to get there: Subway: Colosseo (B)
Nearby hotels: Navona apartments – Piazza Venezia area, Kolbe Hotel Rome, Hosianum Palace Hotel