Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A multisensory trail at Herculaneum: a different way for you to visit the site

Jo beat me to it this morning in posting the link to the Soprintendenza's website where the new guide to Herculaneum's "multisensory trail" has just gone online. At the moment you'll only be able to download the Italian version - but I can promise that the English version will arrive (delayed because I'm doing the translation in my spare time!) as will a French version (being proof read but exists!). The Centro Nazionale del Libro Parlato (National Centre for Talking Books) has also just agreed to record MP3 versions in all three languages, which we hope to make available as soon as humanly possible...

In the meantime, the least I can do is share with you the English summary of the project taken from the press release issued by the Herculaneum Centre (shorter document so I managed to translate this one in time!). If you want the full press release document, it should be online at the official Soprintendenza website later today or you can email centro[at]

If you want to stimulate your senses and experience the ancient city in a different way, then there is a new way of visiting the archaeological site of Herculaneum. A guide to a new multisensory trail is available as a free download from the Superintendency’s website ( The guide is currently available in Italian and there will soon be English and French versions too. Thanks to a partnership set up between the Herculaneum Centre and the Unione Italiana dei Ciechi e degli Ipovedenti di Napoli (Italian Union for the Blind and Partially Sighted, Naples Section), an agreement has also been made with the Centro Nazionale del Libro Parlato (National Centre for Talking Books) to create an mp3 audio version.

The guide is compatible with electronic readers for blind and partially sighted people to use or it can be read directly by the person accompanying them or indeed any other visitor. It uses a series of symbols to indicate where there are features to touch, sounds to listen to or smells to appreciate and even how you can explore the archaeological site with your whole body, simply walking through it.

While the trail was created with the visually impaired in mind, it does not limit this category of visitor to a separate part of the site, but instead makes the most of the site’s existing features and offers all visitors a different way of visiting Italy’s cultural heritage.

Inauguration for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
From 3 December 2010 the new guide to the trail will be available to download from the internet for all those who would like to use it for their visit. On that day there will also be a short press conference at the ticket office of the archaeological site at Herculaneum at 10.30 during which the project will be presented to the public. Later that same day there will be guided tours organized for those who book in advance, in particular the blind and partially-sighted citizens of Ercolano and journalists are invited to participate.
For further information and to book please contact the Manager of the Herculaneum Centre, or 335 7526632.

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