See Rome at its ancient peak thanks to virtual reality

A new virtual reality experience painstakingly developed over two decades of research is set to debut. Called “Rome Reborn,” the 3D app will let users take in ancient Rome’s landmarks as they were at their peak circa 320 AD. The ambitious project, helmed by a team of academics and computer experts from tech company Flyover Zone, recreates 7000 monuments and buildings across a 5.5 square mile stretch of Italy’s capital. “I can't remember projects like this one, with 22 years of work, remade three times and with such results – I can't remember any other like it," said Rome Reborn contributor and classical archaeology professor Paolo Liverani.

Travel News - Basilica-Maxentius_interior

Interior of the Basilica Maxentius, Rome. Image by: Flyover Zone Productions

So far, the programme features virtual reality experience “Flight over Ancient Rome” (currently available via VR headsets and computers), which leads users on a two-hour aerial tour of the Eternal City. The course covers over 35 stops, such as the Imperial Forums, Circus Maximus, and the Tombs of Emperors Augustus and Hadrian. “With Rome Reborn, you could, for example, take the same route as Constantine when he triumphantly marched into Rome,” says Liverani. Participants may also opt for in-depth visits of the Basilica of Maxentius and the Roman Forum, where they can digitally roam through the reconstructed sites and learn historical facts via a hand in-app tour guide. Tours of the Colosseum, Pantheon, and other iconic attractions will launch next year.

Travel News - Flight over Ancient Rome with balloon

Balloon flight over ancient Rome. Image by: Flyover Zone Productions

Rome Reborn is available in English, Chinese and Italian and was recently approved by the Society for Classical Studies. It’s touted as the largest digital recreation of the city to date.

Travel News - Pantheon_plaza

Pantheon, Rome. Image by: Flyover Zone Productions

Future projects in the works for Flyover Zone range from a digital recreation of Athens in the era of Socrates and Jerusalem at the time of Jesus Christ. For more information, check out romereborn.org