Pompeii on Google Street View
Roman city joins Florence, Siena, Urbino, San Gimignano03 December, 23:24
POMPEII - Tourists thinking of a trip to Pompeii or wanting to relive a visit there now have a live feed into the ancient city thanks to Google Street View.
The 360-degree service debuted Thursday in the Roman city preserved by the ash of a blast from Vesuvius in 79 AD, training a camera across temples and villas.
"Giving people a chance to take a virtual stroll through Pompeii will give an extraordinary boost to Italian tourism," said the head of the culture ministry's heritage promotion department, Mario Resca.
Pompeii's recently appointed commissioner, Marcello Fiori, said the deal between the foreign ministry and Google would play a large part in his plan to "relaunch" Pompeii by opening up new sites, hosting musical and theatrical events, and protecting digs. The vice president of Google's southern European operations, Carlo d'Asaro Biondo, said Italy's heritage would "reach and enrich billions of people around the world" through Street View.
The Google Maps service, launched in 2007, last year set up cameras in Florence, Rome, Milan and Lake Como.
In March it added more than 20 Italian cities including Bologna, Naples and Turin to its list.
Siena, Urbino and San Gimignano came on line earlier this week.
Among the foreign sites appearing Thursday were Stonehenge, Prague, the ancient city of Caceres in Spain and famous windmills in the Dutch village of Kinderdijk-Elshout.