New app takes users on virtual flight over Ancient Rome

A new app has enabled people to step back in time to 320 A.D. and take a virtual reality hot air balloon ride over Ancient Rome.

The digital recreation, entitled Rome Reborn, is believed to be the most comprehensive digital rendition of Ancient Rome to date. It can be viewed on personal computers and virtual reality headsets.

While a hot air balloon is clearly an anachronism, it presents the perfect vehicle to get an overview of this great ancient city. As part of the two-hour tour, users of the app get to visit 35 sites of interest, such as the tombs of emperors Hadrian and Augustus, the Circus Maximus, and the imperial fora and palace. The Basilica of Maxentius and the Roman forum are also available for a detailed internal exploration, with other top attractions like the Pantheon and the Roman Palace expected in future.

The developers selected the year 320 A.D. due to the amount of information available for that time, enabling them to create a more detailed and accurate rendition of the ancient city. It was also perhaps the time when Rome was at its peak, just before Emperor Constantine moved the capital east to Constantinople 10 years later. Furthermore, its population had crossed the one million mark, and the city had experienced an architectural boom.

Users can also make use of the “Time Warp” feature to toggle between the ancient and modern-day versions of the city and compare the two.

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