Ann Arbor’s BARDEUM Launches Immersive Guides to Rome, Florence, and Versailles

BARDEUM in Ann Arbor has expanded the offerings of its immersive app that allows users to follow in the virtual footsteps of Nero, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Marie Antoinette with new locations released today by Museum Edutainment.
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Using the BARDEUM app, “The Charioteer,” written by Margaret George and narrated by George Blagden, takes visitors back in time to the Roman chariot races. // Courtesy of Museum Edutainment
Using the BARDEUM app, “The Charioteer,” written by Margaret George and narrated by George Blagden, takes visitors back in time to the Roman chariot races. // Courtesy of Museum Edutainment

BARDEUM in Ann Arbor has expanded the offerings of its immersive app that allows users to follow in the virtual footsteps of Nero, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Marie Antoinette with new locations released today by Museum Edutainment.

After an 18-month delay due to COVID-19, the company has released its content for Rome, Florence, and Versailles.

The BARDEUM app allows users to go beyond the traditional museum and travel experience with educational and entertaining stories about historical sites as they are guided virtually through a variety of locations.

The app features “the world’s best storytellers” guiding visitors through sites by immersing them in a history lesson disguised as a great story.

The Rome content features Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum. It includes:

Circus Maximus — Supported by “The Charioteer,” by Margaret George and narrated by George Bladgen. Visitors return to 65 A.D., attend the chariot races, see reconstructrd images, and learn about a real-life murder plot against Emperor Nero.

The Colosseum — “Blood and Sand,” written by Simon Scarrow and narrated by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, takes visitors back to 85 A.D. and Domitian’s Great Games as they learn about the seedy underworld of gladiator fights — from the marble seats of the wealthy to the hot sands of the arena.

Palatine Hill/Imperial Palace — “The Sibylline Prophecy,” written by Simon Turney and narrated by Philip Stevens, takes visitors to the eve of battle between Emperors Maxentius and Constantine in October 312 A.D. Users will see the palace ruins recreated through Maxentius’ eyes as he seeks the future through ancient prophecy and buries a treasure not uncovered until 2005.

Roman Forum — “The Death of Cornelia,” written by BARDEUM founder Amanda Mercer and narrated by Dan John Miller, takes place in 91 A.D. when Emperor Domitian ordered the death of the Vestal Maxima Cornelia. Users learn of the Vestals, Rome’s history and see reconstructions of the temples and monuments.

The Florence content features an historic walking tour of the city, supported by “The Unveiling of Michelangelo’s David,” written by author and art historian Laura Morelli and narrated by Dan John Miller. It transports visitors to the political upheaval of 1504 Florence and the events surrounding the creation and unveiling of one of the most iconic sculptures in history.

BARDEUM’s new Versailles content features:

The King’s Grand Apartments — “Decadence & Diversions,” narrated by Leslie Carroll writing as Juliet Grey, allows visitors to attend the Yew Tree Ball in 1745. Users step inside this famous event as they witness numerous women with their power-seeking patrons attempt to fill the void of the recently deceased mistress to the king. Only one will become known to history.

The Queen’s Suite — “Revolution Comes to Versailles,” narrated by Leslie Carroll writing as Juliet Grey, takes visitors to October 1789 and the royal family’s final hours in the palace. Visitors follow the despised Queen Marie Antoinette as she attempts to remain calm by reminiscing of her life at the palace as she fears her own death.

The BARDEUM app is free on iOS and Android, and experiences range between $3.99 and $4.99 per download with rotating sales.

Other experiences include London (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, and St James’s Park) and Washington, D.C. (Jefferson Memorial, Korean War Memorial, FDR Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington Monument, and WWII Memorial).

Future experiences are expected to include Detroit, Pompeii, and Venice.

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