Descriptio Romae

Directed by: Raffaele Buranelli
Voice off: Karin Proia
Editor: Michelangelo Garrone


Rome, in the collective imagination, is the place, par excellence, the repository of absolute artistic values, all travel - real or intellectual - that wants to tap into those values. But the extraordinary extension of its heritage and equally wide - and uncoordinated - the promulgation of related documentary sources makes problematic the knowledge to those who want to deepen it, since only the scientific literature on Rome than 12 million pages.

In 1996, a small group of scholars - archaeologists of the Superintendent Capitolina, architects and engineers of the Department of Urban Studies, University Roma3 and Archives archivists of the Rome State - conceived the ambitious, and by then visionary idea of a Geographic Information system of Rome, digital and interactive, to collect and make easily available the documents until then dispersed in many different locations. The intention was to create a "freeze frame" of Rome seven-nineteenth century, that combined social information, economic and demographic appearance and use of urban space.

In 2004, all this takes shape in a Webgis called Descriptio Romae, in homage to that cornerstone of the knowledge of the city, which is the fifteenth Descriptio Urbis Romae by Leon Battista Alberti.

Roma makes a fine show by the extraordinary cartographic personal wealth and through the countless iconographic representations who have celebrated the beauty: precious and incomplete fragments of a mosaic that seemed destined never to compose herself; Now Descriptio Romae outlines a possible way out of those iconographic mazes, by placing each tile in its place to offer a new technologically advanced version of the myth of the Eternal City.