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

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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 18, 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? Or that when he was pardoned and able to come back into the light he left behind buried treasure? 

Few do. But for 446 years, no one had a clue as to where he hid until one fateful day, in 1976, when his secret cache was discovered. That’s the mystery at the heart of this pioneering mobile story and touring experience to Florence. 

Florence’s 16 Million annual visitors now have the chance to explore 11 of the city’s most iconic sites dating to the Renaissance — from The Duomo to the Palazzo della Signoria to the Medici Chapel — in the company of a genius. Time Traveler Tours’ unique touring concept turns Florence into a treasure hunt for them, while also enabling readers at home to travel to Florence through the imagination. Following in Michelangelo’s footsteps, users are transported back through time to learn about the master’s youth; how he came to be the artist we know today; and his connection to the Medici inner circle.

“Many young people think history is boring and museums are dull,” says Towle. “We believe history isn't the problem, but the way it's presented. They aren’t able, as adults are, to retain anecdotal information that jumps from era to era. As a result, it can be difficult for them to connect to typical touring experiences. As digital natives, they eschew audio-only experiences in favor of multi-media ones. They’re also very social, and they love to play. We developed the Time Traveler Tours concept with this educational needs and leisure time expectations in mind. Our aim is not simply to make history fun, but also to make it matter, to #TurnHistoryOn. Our mandate is to make history leap from the screen to the surroundings in order to engage the imagination. Our mission is to ensure that no one says, ‘history is boring,’ ever again.”

Key features of Buried Alive: The Secret Michelangelo Took His Grave, include:

  • World class storytelling

  • Professionally acted voice-over narration

  • 130+ archival illustrations, courtesy of Florence’s prominent cultural institutions, and

  • Gamification features, including

    • 22 Treasure Hunts with augmented reality enhancements to come

    • 7 Trivia Challenges that encourage a deeper level engagement with history, and

    • 8 History Hacks, which compel users to make history their own and share their experience of Renaissance Florence via social media.

The Italian-language edition of the app, Sepolto Vivo, is currently in production. The dual-language eBook, audio books, and print editions will follow later in 2017 under the imprint Time Traveler Tales.

Buried Alive: The Secret Michelangelo Took His Grave was funded through a successful 2015 Kickstarter campaign. Over 300 backers and in-kind supporters contributed $41,491 to help bring the project to life. It is endorsed by such prominent Florence institutions as the Foundation Casa Buonarroti, The Bargello Museum, Medici Chapels, and Basilica San Lorenzo, as well as by education giant, School Library Journal. 

Look for more exciting time-travel adventures from Time Traveler Tours, including Revolutionary Paris, Cold War Berlin, Pepys’ London, Rembrandt’s Amsterdam, and Cuba through the lives of her artists.

Time Traveler Tours creates story-driven treasure hunts — both branded and white-labeled — to historic places all over the world. We harness the traditional power of narrative with the magic of the touchscreen to create portals to the past for student, family, and educational travelers. Putting history and culture at the tips of your fingers through compelling, first-person storytelling and context-rich interactive games, we enable cities, museums, historic homes, and nature preserves to highlight their cultural legacy for youth and the young at heart in fun, immersive and engaging ways. Learn how to #TurnHistoryOn with Time Traveler Tours, winner of the World Youth and Student Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation Top 10 Educational Travel App award:


For more information, please contact:
Becca McCarthy
US: +1 (302) 261-2644
UK: +44 (0) 7557-141-236