“Il Plastico” is a model of ancient Rome created by Italian archaeologist and architect Italo Gismondi between 1933 and 1937, updated with archaeological discoveries until the early 1970s (it’s still being updated regularly today).

The model represents the city of Rome in the 4th century during the reign of Emperor Constantine and is the flagship exhibit of the Museo della Civiltà Romana (which has been closed for renovations since 2014 but will reopen in 2025).

Although Gismondi’s model is the largest ever made, it’s not the first, as it was preceded by Giuseppe Marcelliani’s model from the early 20th century and Paul Bigot’s model. However, it’s the one that incorporates the most recent archaeological knowledge.

“Il Plastico” measures 20 by 20 meters and offers a unique bird’s-eye view of the city. It appeared in the movie “Gladiator” and shows the city in its entirety. Now, we can enjoy a virtual tour in video thanks to Ancient Rome Live and the American Institute for Roman Culture.


Sources

Ancient Rome Live | Wikipedia


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