The Capitoline Hill between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the seven hills of Rome.
The Capitoline contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are almost entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces (now housing the Capitoline Museums) that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo.
The church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli is adjacent to the square, located near where the ancient arx, or citadel, atop the hill it once stood. At its base are the remains of a Roman insula, with more than four stores visible from the street.
The existing design of the Piazza del Campidoglio and the surrounding palazzi was created by Renaissance artist and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti .
Michelangelo's first designs for the piazza and remodelling of the surrounding palazzi date from 1536. He reversed the classical orientation of the Capitoline, in a symbolic gesture turning Rome’s civic center to face away from the Roman Forum and instead in the direction of Papal Rome and the Christian church in the form of St. Peter’s Basilica.