The Caffarelli Palace is located on the north-west side of the Campidoglio Hill and hosts the fascinating Capitoline Museums as well as the panoramic Cafeteria of the Terrazza Caffarelli.
The history of the Caffarelli Palace started with Giovanni Pietro I, who served as page to Emperor Charles V. The Emperor was hosted by the Caffarelli family during his Roman trip and decided to reward him with the land near Rupe Tarpea (Tarpeian Rock), as well as with Palazzo dei Conservatori. Notwithstanding its past glories, the side of the Capitoline Hill was even used as a pasture for animals, which gave it the name Monte Caprino (goat mountain). The Capitoline Hill underwent several recovery works executed by Giovanni Pietro, and then carried on by his son, Ascanio Caffarelli.
The Palace was entrusted to the Prussian Ambassador in 1823. During the Prussian years, a German Hospital and a library were built inside the Palace. These spaces were then taken over by the Caffarelli family, who ran into opposition from Pope Pius IX and the Municipality of Rome. The expropriation attempts and the continuous resistance were then put aside. Under the Prussian domination, the so-called ‘Granarone’ was turned into a new space still visible today in via del Teatro di Marcello.
The Municipality of Rome regained possess of the Palace in 1918 after the end of the Prussian empire. Thereafter, the Palace was partially demolished to build the so-called Terrazza Caffarelli and just beneath, a new Mussolini Museum, subsequently the Museo Nuovo.
The spaces were then closed in 1950 due to some stability problems, for which archaeological surveys were performed.
Over the centuries, the Palace underwent several transformations that changed its original shape. Some of its frescoed vaults are conserved in the Museum in Rome.