Perched on top of Capitoline Hill, the administrative centre of ancient Rome and where all ceremonial processions ended, the Piazza del Campidoglio is perhaps the most elegant public space in the world and in some way the crowning glory of Rome past and present. Michelangelo designed it in the 1530s and although his plans were tweaked over the century it took to build it, the piazza is largely what the Renaissance genius had in mind. Michelangelo alos designed the three palazzos on the piazza. Facing the steps is the one seen here, the Palazzo Senatorio, the city hall of Rome. At its base is a double stairway - in the centre is a niche containing a statue of the Goddess Rome who holds an orb in her hand, a symbol of the rule of Rome over the world. The palace was built on the site of the ancient Tabularium. Behind it raises the bell-tower erected by Martino Longhi the Elder in the 16th century.