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WATCH: At Ancient Roman Site, Virtual Reality Transports Visitors Back in Time

Virtual reality is often presented as a way of going to cool or made-up places without actually leaving the sofa, museum, or shopping mall kiosk where you don the VR headset.

But in Rome, the technology is being used to enhance rather than replace visits to ancient sites, revealing how they looked in their long-ago heyday.

At the Domus Aurea, an enormous cavern that was once a palace belonging to Emperor Nero (back when it was aboveground), you can now put on a virtual-reality headset to see how the place looked when it was filled with light, color, and intricate frescoes that inspired Renaissance painters after the palace was rediscovered in the 15th century.


CBS News took the tour and talked with some of the digital artists whose painstaking work transports visitors to ancient Rome. Check it out below.