This project aims to experiment the use of Augmented Reality within the context of the Basilica of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, a Late Medieval church situated in Galatina, a small town in the south of Italy. The importance of the Basilica regards the frescoes paintings that completely cover the aisles and vaults: they are the only instance in the entire “Terra d’Otranto”.

They represent a complex group of narratives cycles: each scene symbolizes a story that need to be read and interpreted. This monument may be considered an opened book with more reading levels, such as stories from Holy Scriptures, history of the aristocratic committee, constructive vicissitudes, stylistic features of the many artists who worked there, iconographic program and habit of the past.

This project aims at developing a mobile application that exploits the AR technology to perform a “scan” of the frescoes, in order to explain these stories by providing visitor with a mobile application, that allows to guide him/her by means of an interactive and participatory approach.

The app allows the user to follow a path through eleven points of interest (PoI) inside the church.

To access the contents in AR, the user must frame the fresco (i.e. target) related to that PoI.

Once the target is recognized, the user can access different types of content:

  • The audioguide, whose narrative voice embodies Pietro Cavoti, an artist from Galatina who carried out numerous studies on the monument in the nineteenth century.
  • The virtual restoration hypothesis based on the evidences came to light after the last restoration campaign.
  • The short game, such as the one that allows user to hear the sound of some of the medieval musical instruments depicted in the frescoes cycles, that represent a very precious iconographic repertoire.

This project is the result of interdisciplinary skills that worked together in order to develop this innovative tool for exploiting and enhancing the valuable frescoes cycles of the Basilica of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria.