It was arguably the greatest empire this world has ever known. Rome ruled the world, and the remains of its capital city still capture our attention to this day.
The Plastico di Roma Imperiale is a 1:250 scale model that revisits the glory of ancient Rome during the 4th century AD during the reign of Constantine I. The model is now on display in the Museum of Roman Civilization.
Originally commissioned by Mussolini in 1933, the model was built by archaeologist Italo Gismondi, and it turned out to be a work of a lifetime. Gismondi worked on the model up until 1971, using precise maps for the known monuments, such as the Pantheon and the Colosseum.
For lesser-known dwelling, such as residential housing, Gismondi referenced ancient construction—something that could have been different if Mussolini hadn’t ordered many of Rome’s ancient houses razed to make way for thoroughfares like via di Fori Imperiali. Still, Gismondi was able to create a true masterpiece that measures 55 feet by 55 feet.
The model has served as references for historians, schools, and even filmmakers, including Ridley Scott, who used the model for his 2000 film, Gladiator.
The model remains as a monument to the greatness of Rome, and as a key resource for understanding that ancient empire.