Just a few days ago, news emerged that the Oliero Caves, located in the municipality of Valbrenta (VI), have officially become part of the Audiogiro network, with dedicated signage and multilingual paths available for all visitors.
This collaboration began back in 2022, thanks to discussions with the management of the natural complex. The Oliero Caves served as the pilot museum for the project, designed to be an all-inclusive service, involving the preliminary study of points of interest and the recording of high-quality textual and vocal tracks.
Let's delve into how the audio guides for visitors were specifically created.
The natural complex is quite extensive, encompassing both an outdoor area (the caves and the botanical park) and an indoor area (devoted to museums). The initial step was to carefully study the spaces of the Caves, understanding how visitors could enjoy a comprehensive experience of the entire complex. Under the supervision of the scientific curator of the Caves, preliminary texts were then drafted, tailored for two types of visitors: families, especially children, and those seeking more in-depth information.
Pathways were subsequently designed to accommodate all visitors while allowing for a degree of personalization based on the visitor's preferences. Simple yet comprehensive audio guides were developed for the outdoor section, and two types of indoor museum tours were created: a detailed one with chapters dedicated to individual sections, and a concise one providing an overview of the entire room.
In August 2022, the prototype of the Audiogiro web app was launched, giving Oliero Caves visitors an initial taste. Our team, in collaboration with the entrance ticket office, conducted field tests to optimize the user experience.
After months of preparation, which also involved nearby areas of the natural complex (such as the Ponte Subiolo pond) and the Ethnographic Museum of Valstagna, the platform saw the addition of the first tracks in Italian, followed by their English versions.
Lastly, in collaboration with the management of the Oliero Caves, dedicated signage was devised. This allows visitors to listen to the audio guides on their smartphones even without phone signal by simply scanning the QR codes present at geolocated points on the navigation map in the platform.
A glimpse of what the Caves offer is provided by the large map at the entrance, displaying the various audio-guided routes available from the complex. Specifically, these are available in both Italian and English:
• Botanical park path
• Caves path
The audio-guided visit covers all major points of interest and is completely free, indicated by signage throughout the complex. Visitors need only scan the QR codes on the signs to start listening (after downloading the track if in an area with poor signal), and they can also access all audio guides within the navigation map at a later time.
We're proud to finally see the results of nearly a year of continuous work. Data confirms that audio guides are an added value for visitors, and we hope they'll also be beneficial for the many school groups that visit the complex throughout the year, even during public closure periods.
For us, this marks the first step toward a larger project: a network that brings together various museums, cultural institutions, and professionals in an ongoing and reciprocal dialogue, facilitated by the use of a unified and comprehensive platform for all.