Rome’s Circo Maximo takes visitors on a cutting-edge tour
Opening to the public is an innovative project of enhancement in augmented reality and virtual reality of one of the most significant places in the history of the city of Rome, the Circus Maximus. It is the largest building to show antiquity and one of the greatest of all time at 600 meters long and 140 meters wide.
It is a cutting-edge project that implements interactive display technologies never before realized in an outdoor area of such large dimensions. Through an immersive tour, wearing the appropriate visors, visitors will see for the first time the Circus Maximus in all its historical phases: from the simple and first construction in wood, to the glories of the imperial age, and from the Middle Ages to the first decades of the 900s.
The Circo Maximo Experience project is promoted by Roma Capitale, Department of Cultural Growth – Capitolina Superintendency for Cultural Heritage, organized by Zètema Progetto Culturae, created by GS NET Italia eInglobe Technologies, awarded the related call for tenders. The scientific direction is by the Capitolina Superintendency for Cultural Heritage. The narration in Italian is entrusted to the voices of the actors Claudio Santamaria and Iaia Forte. The traveling itinerary, lasting about 40 minutes, is also available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Russian.
The use of Zeiss VR One Plus viewers coupled with iPhone-type smartphones and stereo earphone systems will allow visitors to experience a unique experience of using an archaeological site in a high-tech way. The technology used will allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in history with the vision of architectural and landscape reconstructions during the different periods. It will be possible to see the ancient Murcia Valley enriched with buildings, stroll in the Circus among the shops of the time, watch an exciting race of quadrighetra screams of incitement and overturns of wagons, until – out of breath – the visitors find themselves in front of the imposing Arch of Titus of about 20 meters, rebuilt in augmented reality and on a real scale before one’s eyes.
The experience is exceptionally usable at different times of the day – the application was in fact designed to work independently of the daily lighting variations. The site constructions, made with scientific accuracy, have been appropriately calibrated to work in real time on a mobile device with limited computing capabilities, allowing an immediate and accurate alignment of the 3D models to the reference context, with a fruition of the experience both in virtual reality that increased in stereoscopic mode.
With Circo Maximo Experience, 3 projects of enhancement of the archaeological patrimony become 3 through immersive and multimedia experiences, promoted by Roma Capitale, Department of Cultural Growth – Capitolina Superintendency for Cultural Heritage and realized with the collaboration of Zètema Culture Project. It is in fact added to the project “Viaggi nell’antica Roma” (Travel in ancient Rome) started in 2014 with the Forum of Augustus and expanded in 2015 with the Forum of Cesare, and also to the story in augmented and virtual reality “The Ara as it was” started in 2016 at the Ara Pacis Museum.
The 8 stages in which it is divided include: the Valley and the origins of the Circus, the Circus from Giulio Cesare to Traiano, the Circus in the imperial age, the Cavea, the Arch of Titus, the Shops (tabernae), the Circus in the medieval and modern age and, finally, “A day at the Circus”.
The new rose on the Palatine Hill
Just move about a hundred meters and from the Circus Maximus you enter the Palatine Hill, where, with a little luck and spring permitting, in the Horti Farnesiani visitors can watch the flowering of the Augusta Palatina.
It is the new hybrid, the result of 8 years of studies and experiments, which from May 22 has a fine show in the viridarium, the rose garden created in 1917 on the Hill by Giacomo Boni, a Venetian architect-archaeologist who was director at the time of the monuments of Rome.