Bridge to City Hall, Capitoline Hill

The Capitoline Hill

Up on the Capitoline Hill is the piazza designed by Michelangelo framed on two sides by the buildings of the Capitoline Museum and on the third by the seat of government for the city of Rome. To get to the piazza you must climb a set of marble stairs. At the foot of the stairs is a fountain in the shape of a sphinx, that would normally be jetting its water into the urn in front of it. The day I was there, it was windy and rainy, and the water jet was spraying off to the side and missing the urn.

Fountain in the Wind, Capitoline HIll
Fountain in the Wind, Capitoline HIll

At the top of the steps, a pair of giant equestrian statues flank the staircase. These are, I believe, original Roman pieces on pedestals from the Renaissance. Certainly the style of carving and the general weathering and condition suggest an origin in antiquity.

Equestrian Statue, Capitoline Hill
Equestrian Statue, Capitoline Hill

In the center of the piazza is a Renaissance copy of a famous bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. The original is inside the Capitoline Museum. Passing between the City Hall and the Museum, you can descend the back side of the Capitoline Hill toward the Forum. Looking between the two buildings you can see the third-story bridge that connects them, and bears a resemblance to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice (although to the best of my knowlege the similarity is coincidental).

Bridge to City Hall, Capitoline Hill
Bridge to City Hall, Capitoline Hill

As frustrating as it can be at times to be out photographing in the rain, it’s also kind of fun- it’s a very different atmosphere, and things look quite different than they do when it’s bright and sunny. Umbrellas create their own kind of patterns. People dress differently and move differently. You can really create contrast through use of color instead of having to have strong directional light.

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