Time Traveler Tours Partners with Florence Language School ItalianMe to Create Italian Edition of BURIED ALIVE

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Time Traveler Tours Partners with Florence Language School ItalianMe to Create Italian Edition of BURIED ALIVE

Before I ever dreamed of a life as a full-time author and digital storyteller, I was a linguist with a specialization in 2nd language acquisition. After obtaining a Masters Degree with honors from Columbia University, I spent 20 years traveling the world, plying my trade as an English teacher and teacher-trainer. As a result, I have well-informed and deeply entrenched opinions on what makes a good language learning environment. And I'm here to tell you that the folks at italianme Scuola di Lingua e Cultura Italiana have nailed it.

Learning a language means understanding its nuances and you can't do that if you don't immerse yourself in the culture too. In the words of General Manager and Director, Francesca Bertocci:

“We believe that learning a new language is gaining a new identity. You will live in Florence with us, not like a tourist, but like a real Florentine."


discover the Italian in You at italianme

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Italianme Scuola di Lingua e Cultura Italiana was founded May 2016, by three long-time collaborators and Italian language teachers: Francesca Bertocci, Nadia Bruno, and Carmen Frittelli. Their combined decades of experience teaching Italian language and culture to foreigners is their school’s secret sauce. All three truly understand the meaning of excellence in language education.

Life in a new language comes with ambiguity, which is scary, especially for adults. It comes with risk-taking, which means making mistakes. Adult learners of a new language need to feel safe. Francesca, Nadia, and Carmen welcome and communicate with their clients from the moment they first write for information. 

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The three co-founders also know that learning a language only partially happens in the classroom. Then you have to use it – in the real world. So, the teaching approach at italianme is fun and relaxed. Classes are limited to the mornings and delivered in four 45-minute segments, when the elements of functional communication are practiced alongside the grammatical nuts and bolts. Then Florence becomes the place where you put it all together.

That, and all the fun extras italianme provides in the way of outings, cooking demonstrations, and other cultural activities. It’s all about great activities in a beautiful setting.

One of the activities on offer is Buried Alive: The Secret Michelangelo Took to His Grave, which Francesca helped to translate into Italian -- we're talking every button, glossary item, direction, dedication, and credit. She's so excited by what we're doing at Time Traveler Tours that she led the charge to enable our publication of both Italian and dual-language app, e-, and audiobook editions. It's a mutual admiration society!

"The App is a great idea, something new, never seen before,
a perfect way to experience Florence not like a passive tourist, but in a modern and very interactive way.
Like the italianme approach!

Also, it's fun for the whole family and that’s awesome!!"

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Italianme is located in the heart of Florence, nestled inside an old palace, the Antica Torre, on one of the most beautiful streets in the city. Students have access to the roof terrace where they enjoy one of the most exquisite views over the rooftops. To. Die. For.

Class sizes are kept small, no more than eight students. This makes it possible for instructors to dedicate the time required by each student.

At the end of the morning, teachers package and send lesson materials to students by email, so they don’t need to carry around heavy books as they head out to enjoy the sites of Florence.

Every member of the italianme family has a background in teaching. This means everyone in a leadership role understands the unique needs of students and the problems they may confront along on their journey to becoming bi-lingual and bi-cultural.

Carmen Frittelli handles courses in Art History as well as all the Extracurricular activities. She is so passionate about Florence that she decided to live on the hills overlooking the city, so that every morning she can wake up to the view of its iconic sites. Her favorite place is Piazzetta del Limbo (nearby the school) – a small, intimate and quiet square.

Nadia Bruno is the director of Education and is also responsible for customer relations. She’s got her finger on Florence’s pulse, always aware of all that’s going on around town. You can find her on the streets of the center of Florence, where she loves to take long walks along the Arno River, enjoying the reflection of the city in the water.

Francesca Bertocci loves Florence because of its historic significance in both Italy and the world. She calls it, “a jewel: small, perfect and precious.” Her favorite place is the Oltrarno, “because the squares and narrow streets remind you of ancient times, but at the same time, you feel the flow of contemporary culture. Her favorite work of art is Michelangelo’s David. “I never tire of staring at its amazing figure and perfect details.”

For more information and/or to book your language stay in Florence visit www.italianme.it.


italianme will be the official sponsor of TTT&T's upcoming #HistoryHero Blast (blog and podcast)

Stay tuned for launch news in 2018


Francesca’s #HistoryHero is Margherita Hack. A Florentine born in 1922, Hack was an astrophysicist and the first Italian woman to administrate the Trieste Astronomical Observatory, which she did from 1964 to 1987, bringing it to international fame. She advocated the use of Italian in the university setting, rather than the exclusive use of English as was common at the time. She felt one could express nuanced ideas and concepts best in their mother tongue, so why not do so? 

Who's your #HistoryHero? Let us know in the comment section below!


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Featured in ArtTrav: Six Things You Might Not Know About Michelangelo

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Featured in ArtTrav: Six Things You Might Not Know About Michelangelo

Time Traveler Tours founder, Sarah Towle, is featured on the ever-popular Florence culture blog, ArtTrav, which dishes up regular tasty morsels on all things Art, Travel & Life in Italy to a devoted following of Italianophiles.

And who isn't, really? So, we thought you might like to give it a go...
 

Six Things You Might Not Know about Michelangelo

There are many ways to engage with Florence – from the whirlwind tour of the first-time visitor to the microscopic examination of the repeat visitor intent on peeling back history’s layers to peek below the surface. Take Michelangelo. Everybody knows who he is. His David has drawn tourists to Florence for centuries. But understanding the context in which Michelangelo sculpted the iconic Florence landmark will introduce you to a vibrant society of rivals, teachers, friends, and foes – all of whom helped to shape Michelangelo’s life and art and are certain to enliven your next trip there. Here are six lesser-known Michelangelo facts and how to learn more about them when exploring Florence.

Click here to continue reading...

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Introducing the Story Tour -- Just in Time for Summer Travel!

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Introducing the Story Tour -- Just in Time for Summer Travel!

Renaissance Florence Springs to Life with an all New Immersive Multimedia Mobile Tourism App

Buried Alive:
The Secret Michelangelo Took to His Grave
Unveiled by Time Traveler Tours

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, LONDON, UK (July 1, 2017) — Just in time for summer travel, Time Traveler Tours has launched its flagship story-based touring app Buried Alive: The Secret Michelangelo Took His Grave — currently available for free on the Google Play and Apple App Stores. The mobile treasure hunt to the Renaissance, created by digital storyteller Sarah Towle in collaboration with award-winning children’s author Mary Hoffman, enables users to discover 16th century Florence in the company of master-sculptor Michelangelo: their personal tour guide. 

Everyone knows Michelangelo. But did you know he once went into hiding in fear for his life?

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Buried Alive Receives the Top Accolades from School Library Journal!

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Buried Alive Receives the Top Accolades from School Library Journal!

By Kathleen S. Wilson, School Library Journal, April 11, 2017

Drama of historical proportions, a storyteller’s pacing, choice details, archival images, music, and challenges punctuate Sarah Towle’s first app, Beware Madame La Guillotine (Time Traveler Tours, LLC). That app’s narrator and guide through the streets of Paris during the Reign of Terror is Charlotte Corday, the 24-year-old from Normandy who killed journalist and Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat in his bath in 1793. In her latest production, Towle presents the story of the 1976 discovery of drawings by Michelangelo, written by Mary Hoffman. The app was created with support from Kickstarter backers. For you, it’s free.

If a 400-year-old mystery involving one of the greatest artists of all time piques your curiosity, then Buried Alive: The Secret Michelangelo Took to His Grave (Time Traveler Tours with Mary Hoffman. iOS, Free; Google Play, Free; Gr 6 Up), is an app for you.

This extraordinary story is narrated by none other than Michelangelo himself, whose work has, in many ways, come to define the Renaissance city of Florence. An examination of the master’s art and his personal story, from his childhood to his later work, adds depth and focus to an experience not found in many travel books. Here, with Michelangelo as their guide, viewers learn about his work along with information about his family, influences, benefactors, and the politics of the day.

continue reading on the SLJ blog...

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Renaissance Florence Springs to Life with Time Traveler Tours’ New Interactive Multimedia Mobile Tourism App & Digital Book

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Renaissance Florence Springs to Life with Time Traveler Tours’ New Interactive Multimedia Mobile Tourism App & Digital Book

Buried Alive:
The Secret Michelangelo Took to His Grave

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (March 23, 2017)—It’s a story… It’s a tour… It’s a Story Tour, and just in time for summer travel planning too. Time Traveler Tours launches Buried Alive: The Secret Michelangelo Took His Grave on the Google Play & Apple App Stores today. The story-driven mobile treasure hunt to the Renaissance, written by digital storyteller Sarah Towle in collaboration with award-winning children’s author Mary Hoffman, enables users to discover 16th century Florence through the eyes of master sculptor and tour guide, Michelangelo. The app combines the traditional power of narrative with the magic of the touch screen to create an interactive portal to the past, whether in the city, home, Florence museum, or school. It’s Horrible Histories meets Pokémon Go with a bit of Lonely Planet thrown in. 

Everyone knows Michelangelo. But few know that he once hid out, in fear for his life. For 446 years, no one had a clue as to where he hid or that he left behind buried treasure. That’s the mystery at the heart of this pioneering mobile story and touring experience to Florence. 

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TIME TRAVELER TOURS one of 42 UK-based Human Technology Startups to earn a place at PITCH@PALACE 7.0 BootCamp

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TIME TRAVELER TOURS one of 42 UK-based Human Technology Startups to earn a place at PITCH@PALACE 7.0 BootCamp

TIME TRAVELER TOURS to present at PITCH@PALACE BootCamp
hosted by HRH The Duke of York, KG
at
The University of Nottingham
on
Wednesday 15 March 2017

Nottingham, UK (March 15, 2017)—Sarah Towle pitched today at the prestigious Pitch@Palace BootCamp at The University of Nottingham on behalf of her edTech startup Time Traveler Tours. A mashup of Horrible Histories and Pokémon Go, Time Traveler Tours are story-driven interactive treasure hunts to historic places enhanced with gamification and augmented reality.

Pitch@Palace was founded by the Duke of York in 2014 to support entrepreneurs with the amplification and acceleration of their business ideas by connecting them with potential supporters, including CEOs, Angels, Mentors and key business partners. Towle's company was one of 42 to win a spot among the hundreds of UK startups that applied.

This exceptional endorsement came with TTT on the verge of launching its newest mobile story tour, Buried Alive: the Secret Michelangelo Took to His Grave, which takes you to Florence at the height of the Renaissance in the company of Michelangelo.

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Time Traveler Tours Given Carte Blanche to #TurnHistoryOn

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Time Traveler Tours Given Carte Blanche to #TurnHistoryOn

GROUNDBREAKING DIGITAL FIRST MULTIPLATFORM KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN IS A SUCCESS

A Kickstarter “Staff Pick”
A Best Crowd-funded Literary Project, The Guardian

(July 1, 2015: New York, New York) – Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Time Traveler Tours & Tales, a ground-breaking publishing imprint that combines the traditional power of story with the magic of the touch screen to create portals to the past, will launch its first project. In the Footsteps of Giants, the story of the making of Michelangelo’s David, by international bestselling author Mary Hoffman, is tentatively slated for release in spring 2016. The digital-first, multiplatform company raised $41,491 thanks to the support of 277 backers, exceeding its goal of $40,000 to create a story-driven app. The print, audio, and interactive eBook editions of the tale will follow.

“Before seeking investment capital to build our imprint, we decided to take our idea to the crowd, to ask them what they thought it. I’m thrilled at their collective endorsement!” said Sarah Towle, founder and award-winning author and creator of TTT&T.

With the completion of the campaign and these secured funds, TTT&T is now able to produce Hoffman’s StoryApp Tour, while simultaneously building the architectural foundation for a digital publishing engine dedicated to bringing historic events and places to life for young readers, thus changing the face of cultural education. Future story-driven app projects include The American Revolution, The Civil War, and World War II.

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Kickstarting a Books Revolution: The Literary Crowdfunding Boom

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Kickstarting a Books Revolution: The Literary Crowdfunding Boom

theguardian.com's, Marta Bausells,
Community Manager for Arts & Culture,
picks Time Traveler Tours' crowd-funding campaign
as the #2 of Top 10 literary projects on Kickstarter!!!

From The Guardian:

As the digital revolution gathers pace, the pressures on writers and publishers only increase. But authors, magazines and independent presses are starting to respond to the challenge of the online world by turning to the internet themselves, reaching out to readers through crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter.

Since launching in 2009, Kickstarter has seen $70m pledged to projects in the site’s publishing category. But recent years have seen the number of successful books-related projects more than double, from 735 in 2011 to 2064 in 2014.

According to Kickstarter’s publishing outreach lead, Margot Atwell, the book industry has lagged behind gaming, technology and design, perhaps because “traditional publishing can be a little conservative and risk averse”. But “lately we’re seeing more authors and high-profile publishers,” Atwell says. “They’re becoming a critical mass and people are starting to notice it more.”

continue reading on the Guardian blog...

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Digital First Multiplatform Company, Time Traveler Tours & Tales, Launches $40,000 Kickstarter Campaign

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Digital First Multiplatform Company, Time Traveler Tours & Tales, Launches $40,000 Kickstarter Campaign

RAISES 60% OF ITS GOAL IN ONE WEEK!

(June 1, 2015: New York, New York) – Time Traveler Tours & Tales, a ground-breaking publishing imprint that combines the traditional power of story with the magic of the touch screen to create portals to the past, made it more than halfway to its Kickstarter campaign goal of $40k in one week. Now ten days in, the campaign – which runs to June 26 – has brought in 80 backers pledging more than $25k and been named a “Kickstarter Staff Pick.” Time Traveler Tours & Tales aims to bring immersive historical tales to life in app and book form for teens and tweens.

“Our hope going into the campaign was to raise 20% in the first week. By the time our launch event at KidLit TV began, four hours after going live, we’d already hit 22%. So we decided to go for 50% in one week at which point we’d hit 60. I can’t tell you how gratifying and exciting it is to feel the crowd saying ‘Yes! We like your concept and want to help make it happen!” said Sarah Towle, founder and award-winning author and creator of TTT&T.

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Help Turn History on with Time Traveler Tours & Tales

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Help Turn History on with Time Traveler Tours & Tales

Digital First Multiplatform Company
Launches $40,000 Kickstarter Campaign


(May, 2015: New York, New York)–Time Traveler Tours & Tales, an imprint that combines the traditional power of the story with the magic of the touch screen to create portals to the past, is launching a Kickstarter campaign May 19, 2015, to raise $40,000 to bring its immersive stories to life in app and book form. The initial project is In the Footsteps of Giants, the story of the making of Michelangelo’s statue, David, by international bestselling author Mary Hoffman. The story-driven app will allow users to meet the young model who posed for David, go behind the scenes touring Florence and walk the streets Michelangelo walked, view archival images, hunt for historical artifacts, and take part in interactive puzzles and games. The book will take readers on a narrative fictionalized journey of how the artist came to immortalize the biblical hero King David who became a symbol of the defense of civil liberties. When TTT&T meets its monetary goal, it will have the means to not only bring this suite of apps and book to fruition, but to create the architectural framework to enable them to bring many more stories and places to life for young readers. Future story-driven app projects include The American Revolution, The Civil War, and World War II. The company’s debut tale to the French Revolution is already available through Apple and Amazon.

Many kids (and adults) find it hard to grasp the distant past; they find history boring. But with TTT&T’s virtual tours, people and places come alive and are no longer just facts in a textbook, thereby encouraging kids to literally and figuratively turn history on. Some educators call this “Place-Based Education”—learning through the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place—, and while the apps and books will be great classroom companions, they will also be fun for readers interested in exploring the world, art and story, and for traveling families.

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Time Traveler Tours & Tales Signs Award-Winning Author to Launch its List

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Time Traveler Tours & Tales Signs Award-Winning Author to Launch its List

Mary Hoffman to Collaborate with the International Digital Start-Up

(LONDON, Monday, 23 March) – Time Traveler Tours & Tales, a newly launched digital-first, multi-platform publisher dedicated to bringing the past to life for children and teens, is pleased to announce that internationally renowned author Mary Hoffman is the first writer to join its ranks with In The Footsteps Of Giants (2016), an interactive story-based quest through Renaissance Florence. And Hoffman, who has transported readers to Renaissance Italy with her acclaimed Stravaganza series, is the perfect companion for this start-up whose mission is to make history exciting.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Mary Hoffman by my side as we embark on this new publishing adventure,” says Publisher Sarah Towle. “Her participation is the best possible validation that we’re onto something with the Time Traveler Tours & Tales concept, mission, and vision. My daughter, a huge Stravaganza fan, is possibly even more chuffed than I am!”

Narrated by Michelangelo’s invented “milk brother” and model for the colossal statue, In the Footsteps of Giants promises a radical unveiling of the making of the David. It’s an intimate view of a genius, whose brilliance flourished on the mean streets of the de’ Medici. Emma D. Dryden of drydenbks, who has worked with such award-winning and bestselling authors as Ellen Hopkins, Karma Wilson, Susan Cooper, and Cornelia Funke, will edit the project.

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