One of the marvels of visiting an ancient city like Rome is seeing the incredible dichotomy of storied history and modern life. The iconic, centuries-old structures, nestled in with the cafe chains and flashing pharmacy signs. There’s a McDonald’s right down the street from the Trevi Fountain. Another just a few blocks from the Pantheon. For tourists, especially those coming from the US, where even the oldest preserved structures are only hundreds of years old, it’s a little jolting. And mesmerizing.
Walking through Rome, you can’t help but wonder what it would’ve looked like to trod these same streets centuries ago. The folks at History in 3D are giving us a glimpse of what the city looked like at the height of the Roman Empire. In aerial form, no less.
The eight-minute video takes viewers through a reconstruction of Ancient Rome of 4 AD. (We first saw this at Laughing Squid.)While we’ve seen several reconstructions of Rome over the years—from history textbooks to documentaries—this is certainly one of the more impressive. And according to the History in 3D duo, it’s still a work in progress. In the video description the two write, “Our goal is to create the most extensive, detailed and accurate virtual 3D reconstruction of Ancient Rome.”
In the video we get glimpses of several iconic Roman structures—including the Forum and Colosseum. As they would’ve looked in their glory days, no less. And not a McCafé in sight! Additionally, we also see notable facets of Ancient Roman life, from the bathhouses and theaters to, of course, the palaces.
From the aerial reconstruction, the city looks stunning. Although we do know that a gloriously-constructed building doesn’t mean it was also a bit gnarly in everyday life. (We’re looking at you Ancient Roman latrines.)
Still, though, this video is certainly not a bad jaunt through the Eternal City.