If you are in Rome before November 1st, this is certainly worth a visit as virtual reconstructions bring to life Ancient Rome. Very impressed by a similar and more permanent project at Le Domus Romane at Palazzo Valentini, we took advantage of a quiet Rome in August to see the projects by Viaggio nei Fori. Updated: The site is presently down and there is no information provided as to when it will be up again. Here’s an alternative site where you can book a guided tour for this experience.
The two projects, Forum of Augustus and Forum of Caesar, take place only in the evenings starting earliest at 8.30pm (Forum of Caesar) as special effects and virtual reconstructions bring to life the grandeur of these areas. The website Viaggio nei Fori (presently down but here’s another site) provides a detailed description of the journey of each Forum and if you are wondering if it is necessary to see both, it’s a straight out yes.
Both are exceptionally well done using state of the technology and there is no need to use your imagination as the special effects are astounding. You’ll be provided high quality headsets, where you’ll hear the narration – in 8 different languages, sound effects and music, yet each one is different.
For the Forum of Augustus, which lasts 40 minutes, you’ll be seated the entire time with the special effects projected mainly in one specific area. The show starts every at the top of the hour from 9pm to 11pm. As it’s a free seating arrangement, when we got there at 8.30pm, there was already a line snaking to get in so head there a touch early if you want prime seating.
The Forum of Caesar, on the other hand, takes you on a walk through various areas in the Forum led by a staff. You’ll be provided with a headset that comes with a laser to point to a red illuminated device at each stop in order to initiate the audio for the narration of the presentation.
The visit at the Forum of Caesar starts every 20 minutes starting at 8.30pm and lasts about 50 minutes. There was not much of a line here since there were only about 40 people in our group and, while there is one stop where you’ll take a seat for the presentation, you’ll be walking around most of the time. The tour will end across the street from the Forum of Augustus.
Updated February 2017: The website is presently down but here’s another site to book together with a guided tour.
You can purchase a single ticket for €15 + €1 booking fee or purchase both at the same time for €25 +€2 booking fee. So how does it work?
You can purchase both tickets but use them on different dates. Keep in mind that you need to specify a date and time for each one at the time of purchase. For example, we saw the Forum of Augustus on a Saturday and the Forum of Caesar the following Tuesday. It is possible to do both on the same night – you could start with the Forum of Caesar tour at 8.30pm which ends by 9.20pm, giving you time to catch the 10pm show for Forum of Augustus.
We initially tried to purchase the tickets online using the link on the website Viaggio nei Fori. To buy tickets online, you’ll need to register or login but there were technical problems and we eventually called +39 060608.
They too couldn’t figure out why the online system was giving us an error message and took our details over the phone. Once payment was made, the tickets were emailed to us and we had to print them out. You could also purchase tickets at the box offices situated near both entrances but only for that day. There will be no booking fees, however, you’ll have to be flexible with the time depending on availability.
Here’s a peek at some of the special effects and virtual reconstructions from the Forum of Caesar.
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