When you’re wandering through the ruins of what were once Rome’s grandest buildings in the Roman Forum or trying to imagine what the Colosseum must have been like in its heyday, sometimes it’s hard to see beyond the rubble. A good guide can help, but some people are just more visual learners. For them – and for anyone else who thinks it’s cool (which might be everyone) – now there’s Rome Reborn.
Thanks to long years of hard work by archaeologists, historians and computer experts from around the world, people can now take a virtual stroll through 31 monuments and 7,000 buildings – and that’s just the beginning. Eventually, the rest of the city will be available online, too. To me, the coolest still picture is that of the interior of the Senate building in the Forum – the Curia Julia. Why? Because when you go to the Forum yourself and see the building as it is today, it’s not all that different from how it looked back then. Now, thanks to software like Rome Reborn, we can project that same idea to every other monument and building in Rome. This website might be especially fun if you’re planning a trip to Rome, to see what things once looked like before you step onto the Forum’s cobbled streets yourself, or if you’ve recently visited and still don’t quite get what all the fuss is about.
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To get a look at what’s available right now, click on “Gallery” on the left and then on “Still Images” for the pictures or “Video Clips” for some camera pans through ancient Rome (complete with an Italian fanfare soundtrack). The “Audio Clips” are interviews with some of the people responsible for the project.
Photo by: Jim Forest