Rome VR Bus will carry tourists 2000 years back in time

Rome VR Bus will carry tourists 2000 years back in time

Unique technology and design convert the vehicle into a mobile, multi-sensory cinematic hall

Starting tomorrow, June 23, a unique Virtual Reality Bus will roam the streets of the archaeological district of Rome. It will give passengers the chance to see what the places seen out of the window really looked like during the Roman Empire epoch.

The 16-seater vehicle, operated by Invisible Cities, will be equipped with cutting-edge 3D technology, which promoters say has never been tried before.

Almost a veritable time-travel machine

The ‘Imperial Rome – Virtual Reality Bus’ will be active every day from 16.20 to 19.40 (last tour), departing from Piazza della Madonna di Loreto, at the Trajan’s Column, at the end of Via dei Fori Imperiali.

Passengers on the electric bus can view the Imperial Fora, the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus and the Theater of Marcellus thanks to “visor-free” VR displays, with all imagery created by visual effects specialists under the guidance of archaeologists.

All the 3D displays are visible directly on the OLED screens superimposed on the windows of the bus. A system of motorized curtains will descend at times to allow the passengers to compare the present with the past.

“The VR Bus project will allow visitors to literally immerse themselves in the history of Rome,” declared the city’s mayor Roberto Gualtieri, who described it as a “one-of-a-kind initiative” that will take tourists and Roman residents “on a journey to discover Rome’s past. “

The immersive experience, however, goes beyond the visual realm to also include an olfactory component. An automated onboard system releases pleasant fragrances specially designed to evoke the character and identity of some historical places along the route. The Ancient Romans burned essences in sacrifice to the gods, to pray and make them propitious. They also loved using perfumes on themselves, at least three times a day.

The project is also attentive to sustainability. The VR Bus is completely electric and designed with respect for and care for the environment. Small in size and silent, it has an average speed equal to that of a scooter.

The tour, lasting 30 minutes, is available in Italian and English. Tickets can be bought online or at the ticket office near Trajan’s Column.

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