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The Piazza del Campidoglio

The Piazza is an inovative blend of two existing Palazzos.

©iStockphoto.com/mmac72

The Piazza del Campidoglio sits on the Capitoline Hill in Rome. Thanks to the uniqueness of Michelangelo's vision in blending the existing Palazzo dei Senatori and the Palazzo dei Conservatori with a new structure, the Palazzo Nuovo, to create a balanced trapezoid, the Vatican-facing piazza became a jewel that unified the old and new into a cohesive whole that exceeded the sum of its parts.

Unfortunately, Michelangelo didn't survive to see the work completed, but the beauty of his vision survives, and his accomplishment has become a hallmark of judicious planning and enlightened use of space. At the time, Pope Paul III refused to have the existing structures torn down. This created a unique challenge for Michelangelo in designing a space that would be functional, balanced and elegant. That type of challenge, when successful, is a triumph of creativity, but it seldom comes cheap.

For our next offering, we won't wander far to take a look at St. Peter's Basilica.

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