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Teramo Virtual City

Teramo Virtual City

In May 2010 a project called Teramo: a city “virtually dressed” was opened to public, it was realized by the ITABC- CNR, in collaboration with the Municipality of Teramo (a town located in Abruzzo region, in the middle Italy) and the California University of Merced, with the financial support of Arcus S.p.a. The project aims to the documentation, valorization, fruition of historical and archaeological sites, urban paths, museum artifacts, immaterial culture, through the use of multimedia and virtual reality technologies, in order to support the cultural experience of people visiting the town. Teramo is candidate to become the first town in Europe dedicated to “Virtual Heritage” through a project of integrated communication, connecting ontologies disseminated and fragmented in several places but belonging to similar contexts. The “virtual dress” is identified in the multiplication of the virtual networks and contents in the urban space and within web virtual communities. The archaeological civic Museum, preserving many artifacts discovered all over the territory of Teramo and referred to many chronological phases, (protostoric, roman, medieval ages), assumes the role of “portal” of the entire project. Here the artifacts are fragmented and decontextualized but through multimedia projection and VR applications they are reconnected to their original contexts and cultural themes. The first step has consisted in the valorization of Sant'Anna site, where the ancient Cathedral of Santa Maria Aprutiensis was built perhaps in the VIIth century, on the remains of an important roman domus. Today few remains of this original cathedral are visible because it was destroyed in 1156 when most part of the town was burned by the Norman Roberto di Loretello. The valorization of this archaeological site was realized through two large displays, fixed on the ceiling just upon the excavation, showing the architectonical reconstruction of the two monuments, explaining their history and their evolution through the time. A movie based on camera tracking shows the character of a virtual architect, Vitruvius, on the real archaeological site, building up the ancient structures, columns, walls, just by his body's movements, explaining also the uncertain and problematic aspects in his work. The real space of the site is mapped also by sounds, suggesting the ancient life or functions: bells, Gregorian chants, steps in the cathedral; birds, water, wind in the peristilio of the roman domus. In the archaeological Museum the artifacts coming from Sant'Anna sites are contextualized through two installations. In the room dedicated to the domus a multimedia application on a touch screen has been realized, in it we can explore interactively the 3D space (the peristilio and the three rooms connected to it, today visible in the excavations) superimposing the actual and the ancient views. We can see also the objects shown in the exhibitors, contextualized in the virtual reconstruction, and finally we can contextualize the domus respect the roman urban topography. In the room dedicated to Santa Maria Aprutiensis we realized an installation combining VR and multimedia contents The 3D space of the ancient cathedral is interactive and it is attended by the characters that built its history through the time: Pope Gregorio Magno, San Berardo, the archaeologist Francesco Savini that discovered the site at the end of the XIX century, the Norman Roberto di Loretello that fired up the building. Each character, if touched by the user, tells a fragment of history. Also the objects exhibited in the museum room are contextualized in the 3D space and explained. Gaming rules, storytelling and historical information are combined in order to obtain the best result in terms of communication, involvement and learning. The multimedia contents are referred to the historical and iconographical sources kept in consideration for our reconstruction and to the topographical contextualization of the site. Supported by: Comune di Teramo, Arcus S.P.A. Mail ref.:,; : Links: Macity: Appstore: Giornale La città: (a pagina 8) Abruzzo Cultura:

Monday, May 2, 2011

European Union Seventh Framework is a Network of Excellence. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 2007/2013) under the Grant Agreement 270404.