Select Italy Press Release
New for Milan
UNLOCK THE MYSTERIES OF MILANO: SELECT ITALY ADDS MILAN TO ITS LINEUP OF WHAIWHAI INTERACTIVE TOUR BOOKS FOR HIGH-TECH TREASURE HUNTS IN KEY ITALIAN CITIES
milan at night

New York, May 6, 2010 – There’s a lot more to Milan than fashion and a flamboyant cathedral: somewhere in the city’s labyrinth of byways hides the stolen Wolf diamond, worth 12,000 ducats. But where is it, tucked behind the spires of the Duomo, under the Devil’s Horns at Sant’ Ambrogio, perhaps lurking behind the curtain at La Scala or haunting the Castello Sforzesco? It’s anybody’s guess, but your task to find out – thanks to Select Italy, you’ve got the most innovative guide in Milan on your side: the Milan Diamond whaiwhai tour book. This groundbreaking product lets you play the storyline through the city, interweaving the fictional and the factual to create a new adventure in city touring.

How does it work? First, there’s the sleek whaiwhai book: its pages are cut into parts, making the stories jumbled – to start the game, just start reading.

Then, using the texting feature (SMS) of a cell phone, users receive clues and send answers that propel them across Milan from location to location, tracing and uncovering its most secret history along the way. Premise: The fictional diamond was pawned by Ludovico Sforza, ruler of Milan, to help finance war against the pesky French. Today, the diamond is exhibited in a private collection, but was stolen by a smart thief. The Milano police are hot on his trail. As you tailor whaiwhai to your own speed, interrupting and resuming it at will – the game lasts for up to three months from the moment of activation – it’s your job to undo the duel between police and thief by pinpointing the jewel.

Milan

All you need to play is the whaiwhai tour book (or if you want to play in separate teams, one book per team), a cell phone (any cell phone that can send and receive text messages) and a good city map to help you reach the specific places that the whaiwhai tour book will indicate thanks to the codes received by SMS. It’s high-tech touring action, but the plot is what immerses the player in the atmosphere of the city. Stories are always tied to places and both are carefully chosen so that the adventure does not follow the usual tourist routes but rather leads to where the city hides its true spirit: the myths, legends, and stories of oral tradition that take travelers closer to the soul of the city than a tour bus could ever take them. The stories are encrypted and can be read one at a time, using codes that are obtained by solving the puzzles in a journey undertaken in stages. Clues are scattered through the streets, squares, and monuments in details invisible to most people: architectural nuances…antique signs…which for centuries have locked away secrets.

Designed by Italian company LOG607, whaiwhai is already acclaimed in Italy, where last year the Italian President awarded it the national prize for best service innovation in the tourism category. Recently, the New York Times called whaiwhai "a high-tech Italian touring game that is part 'Amazing Race' and part treasure hunt, with a bit of Da Vinci Code-style storytelling mixed in." The Milan Diamond edition was written by noted Italian author Paolo Roversi (No French Kisses, Secret Agents Do Not Cry) and promoted and distributed by Marsilio Publishers, which received the patronage of the City of Milan, the Teatro alla Scala, Expo2015 and collaboration of La Triennale di Milano.

Select Italy President Andrea Sertoli made the discovery of whaiwhai at a trade fair in Venice. “After only one morning of playing, I had learned a tremendous amount about Venice…anecdotes, legends, untold stories... all rigorously documented and complementing the historical information acquired during more formal tours. I've found that not only is the information valuable, but it is delivered in a seamless and enjoyable way.”

whaiwhai

Milan: The Diamond is the fifth book in the whaiwhai series and the latest offered by Select Italy. Four other whaiwhai are currently available: The Ruyi Venice tells of an ancient magical scepter lost with the tomb of Marco Polo; The Ruyi Rome finds signs of the passage of the same rod in the Eternal City. Florence 2054 reveals mysterious connections between noble beauties of the Renaissance and Verona Amor explores the romantic secrets of the city. The whaiwhai tour books are $33.95 each and are available in the U.S. exclusively from Select Italy. Visit http://selectitaly.com/whaiwhai for more information.

Press contact:
Anthony Grant
Tel. (646) 379-0767
tony@selectitaly.com



About Select Italy

Based in Chicago, with branches in New York City and Shanghai and representatives in Italy, Select Italy has been a trusted ambassador of Italian travel expertise since its establishment in 1997 by Italian-born company President, Andrea Sertoli. The ultimate source for travel to Italy, Select Italy offers a wide array of superior Italian products and services, including customized itineraries, state-of-the-art tours and packages, wedding/honeymoon trips, unique culinary classes, a complete pre-departure ticketing service for museums and musical events, private guided services, yacht charters, transportation, hotel reservations, villa bookings and more. Select Italy is committed to creating the perfect vacation and maximizing enjoyment in Italy for its clients by adhering to the highest standards of professionalism. For more information call (800) 877-1755 or visit www.selectitaly.com.

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