Lonely Planet review
Designed by Michelangelo in 1538 and flanked by stately palazzi , this elegant hilltop piazza is one of Rome's most beautiful squares. You can reach it from the Roman Forum, but the most dramatic approach is via the Cordonata , the graceful staircase that leads up from Piazza d'Ara Coeli.
At the top, the piazza is bordered by three palazzi : Palazzo Nuovo to the left, Palazzo Senatorio straight ahead and Palazzo dei Conservatori on the right. Together, Palazzo Nuovo and Palazzo dei Conservatori house the Capitoline Museums, while Palazzo Senatorio is home to Rome's city council.
In the centre, the bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius is a copy. The original, which dates from the 2nd century AD, is in the Capitoline Museums.