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128. Michelangelo's most famous square in Rome: Campidoglio

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

By Giulio D'Ercole

An early morning dive in history, architecture, art is bliss for the soul and an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy all the beauty that the Eternal city can offer to its residents and visitors.

One of the most fascinating squares of Rome sits on Campidoglio, one of the seven hills of Rome, a site that can tell million compelling stories, considering that it ha an history that goes back twenty-seven centuries.

Two of the major and most famous characters tightly linked to this square are Marcus Aurelius and Michelangelo.

The equestrian statue, in the photo here below, represents the first one and it was erected in 175 AD. Its overall theme is one of power and divine grandeur, shown by the emperor, over life-size, extending his hand in a gesture of adlocutio used when addressing his troops. However, shown without weapons or armor, Marcus Aurelius seems to be a bringer of peace rather than a military hero, for this is how he saw himself and his reign. It is to be noted that the statue in the middle of the square is only a beautiful replica of the outstanding original, which is now located inside the #museicapitolini , placed on the sides of the same square.

And here we go to the second, world-known character: Michelangelo. In fact it was him to design the place, built then from 1536 to 1546. The job was commissioned to him, at the height of his fame in those years, by the Farnese's family in order to impress Charles V, who was expected in town in 1538. Michelangelo took this opportunity to build a monumental civic plaza for a major city and, in so doing, to reestablish the grandeur of Rome.

More info on the Piazza del Campidoglio are in my previous blog n.35. Campidoglio, history ad art.

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