The Palazzo dei Conservatori, which stands on the south side of Piazza del Campidoglio, was built during the reign of Pope Nicholas V (r. 1447-55), but its facade is the work of Michelangelo (1475-1564).
The two storeys of the beautifully proportioned palazzo are united by gigantic pilasters. The building is crowned with a balustrade topped with statues.
Look closely at the Ionic capitals, on the ground floor, and you will see that each sports a small head with a large drooping moustache!
The Palazzo Nuovo, which stands on the opposite side of the piazza, was also designed by Michelangelo, but not built until the middle of the 17th century. Its facade is identical to that of the Palazzo dei Conservatori.
The palazzi house the Musei Capitolini, two of the finest collections in Rome.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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