The Piazza del Campidoglio is located on top of the Capitoline Hill. It is the first modern square to be designed in Rome. After Charles I’s visit to Rome in 1536, Pope Paul III was embarrassed by the hill’s appearance, and he appointed Michelangelo to design the new square.
Michelangelo designed the square to be facing the St. Peter's Basilica, which was the political centre of the city at the time. He also proposed the construction of another palace (Palazzo Nuovo) and he redesigned the Palazzo dei Conservatori, both in harmony with the Palazzo Senatorio.
An imposing bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, which is currently housed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, was erected in the centre of the square. The statue that is currently in the square is a faithful reproduction.
Given the slow progress of construction, Michelangelo did not live to see his work completed. Nevertheless, construction proceeded in accordance with his plans.
The Piazza del Campidoglio is one of the main points of tourism in the city, due in part to its central location and its proximity to the Capitoline Museums, and also to the statue of the mythical Capitoline Wolf, part of the legend of Romulus and Remus, located on the corner between the Palazzo Senatorio and the Palazzo Nuovo.
It is worth noting that the wolf on the column is a reproduction. The original is housed in the Capitoline Museums.