Domus Romanae - a 3D journey through two Ancient Rome patrician houses

Project information

Index: 0733R2
Priority:1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Sub Theme:the Information Society
Location ITALY CENTRO (I) Rome Lazio Start/End date of the practice
Start: 2007-12-01

Topic of the practice

Enhancing the quality of the experience through multimedia tours and 3D technologies. An innovative experience to exploit cultural heritage and archaeological sites.

Good Practice Information

An underground archaeological site (in the foundations of renaissance palace Palazzo Valentini, hosting the offices of Provincia di Roma) from the ancient roman period has been transformed in an advanced technology museum. This multimedia museum looks like a 3D experience in two luxurious underground Roman houses and thermal baths. The multimedia system creates lighting, film and image-projection that brings the site to life. A continuous voice over points out different aspects of each room and it drives the museum's visitors into the archaeological complex indicating where to look or where to go. The speaker is a well known Italian tv journalist. The site was originally opened in late 2007 after the initial phase of excavations.
The second phase of excavations began in March 2009 and has uncovered new areas of the thermal baths, named 'Trajan's Small Baths' including a “frigidarium” with a large cold-water bath. The archaeological area and the multimedia museum were re-opened between December 2009 and January 2010. The opening of this cultural area was celebrated by the visit of the President of Republic of Italy.
The visit of the area is limited to groups of 15 people and each day not more than 400 tourists can have access to the villas.The visit is available in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese.

Evidence of success

A rich collection of press cuts is available, including an article from The New York Times. Each opening session was fully booked and 13.377 visits were registered between Oct 2010 and Feb 2011. Besides this museum is very closed to some of the most famous (and visited) sites in the world such as Colosseum or Roman Forum. Palazzo Valentini has an exceptional location in the heart of Renaissance Rome behind the Trajan Forum. The multimedia museum is so close to the Trajan forum that a new project foresees to connect the 2 parts through a tunnel. This project involves the National archeological autority and the municipalty of Rome. This future plan was stimulated by the success of Domus Romanea museum. A detailed brochure has been published and distributed.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Francesco Loriga

Province of Rome/University of Rome “Sapienza”;;

Annex completed on: 03-30-2010

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