A gallery of virtual tours has been launched on the Vatican website.The tours can be viewed online by everyone, for free, and currently include, St. Peter’s Basilica, St. John Lateran, St. Paul-Outside-The-Walls, The Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Necropolis.
The tours were developed by students and experts from Villanova’s faculty who painstakingly took thousands of pictures over the past decade, stitching the images together, and editing them into one photograph with a 360 degree view.
One of the contributors to the project was Justin Myers, a Villanova University student who spent his time developing tours using a number of photographs of the Upper Galleries and the Gallery of Maps to use in building a 360-degree high definition virtual tour. According to Justin Myers, it took 1,500 photos in order to compile the tour of just one of the gallery rooms.
Although The Vatican already offers virtual tours of certain areas, such as the Sistine Chapel, it is working on a seamless virtual-walkthrough. The result will be that anyone with a virtual reality headset can, free of charge, immerse themselves in The Vatican Museums and walk around seamlessly from one room to another.
Dr. Klassner, Director of the Villanova Center of Excellence in Enterprise Technology, has headed the project. He is now reportedly working with Vatican Museum representatives to plan a new virtual tour of Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence of the popes.