Claude Blanc

Claude Blanc was born in Barcelonnette, France, and now resides in Marseille. He attended and received his diploma from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, earned a law degree at the Université de Paris and studied at the Université d’Aix-Marseille earning a degree in Business Administration.

Claude has over 30 years of teaching experience and has taught on both sides of the Atlantic. While in the United States he taught French Language, Literature and Civilization, Modern and Contemporary French Literature, and Modern French Literature and Politics at schools in Louisiana, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

In Aix-en-Provence, Claude taught French Literature and Civilization and the History of Provence at Vanderbilt University in France. For the last 20 years, Claude has taught French Civilization, the History of Provence and the History of Architecture at the Université d'Aix-Marseille III.

When not teaching, Claude translates literary works and has participated in archaeological digs in France and Egypt.

David Bumstead

Born in Essex, England, David Bumstead graduated from the University of Wales with an Honors degree in History and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with specialization in History and English. In 1993 David was awarded the Cervantes Institute Superior Diploma in Spanish, the highest level attainable by foreigners.

After moving to San Sebastian in 1983 David opened his own language school. Having grown to three schools, he then went on to teach Spanish in North Carolina through the Visiting International faculty program. Presently, David both serves for the University of Deusto where he teaches specific English courses and on a Basque Government sponsored trilingual program teaching History and ethics in English. He speaks English and Spanish fluently and has general knowledge of French, German and Basque.

David has two sons and enjoys spending time with his family. He has a keen interest in history and linguistics and an excellent knowledge of both Basque and Spanish history.

Victor Damato

Victor Damato attended high school in New York City and studied Business Administration and Tourism Marketing at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. He received his master’s degree in Apulian Art and History in Bari, Italy.

Victor spent more than 15 years working as an accountant/cost control analyst in New York before switching careers to pursue his passion for Apulian art, history and tourism. For the past 10 years, Victor has been providing consulting services to tour operators in Italy, as well as serving as a lecturer for universities, educational institutions, museums and archeological sites. He also teaches English at several private language schools.

In his free time, Victor enjoys volunteering, exercising and traveling. He also organizes trips to New York City for Italians who are studying English.

Andreas Foundoulis

A native of Crete, Andreas Foundoulis left Greece to attend the University of Cambridge in England, where he completed his degree in English Language. Returning to Greece, Andreas taught English for six years and acted as a Greek/English interpreter. In 1990, he began work as a licensed guide and has enjoyed welcoming visitors to Greece ever since. He has also spent several years delivering lectures to study groups traveling from such institutions as the University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the University of Wisconsin.

Andreas is currently the Chairman of the Union of Cretan Guides and a member of both The Society of Friends of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and The Society of Friends of the Museum of Natural History of Crete, both located in Heraklion, Crete.

Richard Fremantle

Born in London, Richard Fremantle moved to the United States as a child. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees, both in Art History, from Columbia University in New York and did extensive work on a Ph.D. at London University.

During his undergraduate work, Richard studied in Florence. Later, he taught in Grenoble, France, at the Lycée Municipal, Rue Lesdiguieres, worked at a clothing export business in Florence and at a ski hotel in the French Alps. Richard also lived in Vienna, Austria, and traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and Turkey.

Richard has published four books, as well as numerous articles on the history of art, focusing particularly on Masaccio and other prominent figures in the Early Florentine Renaissance. He has lectured extensively on these subjects and has also worked on several films for American and British television.

Ton Van Garderen

Born in The Netherlands, Ton Van Garderen holds degrees in Social Geography from the University of Amsterdam and University Nijmegen. Additionally, he has published various articles on energy politics in Latin America.

Ton is able to use his varied work experience to help facilitate several perspectives surrounding his native country. He has knowledge in working as a project coordinator for University Utrecht, in the department of urban planning for Amsterdam and as a floor manager at a local bank.

Since 1994, Ton has been the director of Van Garderen Amsterdam Tours. In addition to his work, Ton is married and has twin girls.

John Harrison

John Harrison has worked as a freelance historian for many years. His first great historical love began with the city of Stirling and the 17th-century Stirling region. He has published academic papers on many aspects of Stirling and written for numerous projects including Interpretive Plaques for the Stirling Heritage Walk, and articles for The Scots Magazine and the Stirling Observer.

John's specialization is in landscape and land-use history. He has worked on the Ben Lawers Historic Landscape Project and the recreation of the interiors of the palace at Stirling Castle in conjunction with Historic Scotland. An engaging and accomplished lecturer, John finds that in addition to the enjoyment he experiences while discovering new facets of Scotland’s diverse past, his research projects keep his lectures current with what is being learned about the country.

In his free time, John enjoys reading, walking, bike riding and wildlife.

Jennie Humphries

Jennie Humphries is a British citizen who resides in Naples, Italy. She attended the University of London where she received her BSc in Physical Geography and Environmental Science. In addition to lecturing, Jennie has worked as an Educational Consultant in Campania and Sardinia.

Jennie is fluent in Italian, along with her native English. In her leisure time, Jennie enjoys traveling, trekking and reading.

Monika Scheele Knight

A German citizen and a former resident of Chicago, Monika Scheele Knight now lives in Berlin, Germany. While residing in Chicago, she worked in AHI’s office in the Operations and Product Development department as a program manager. After relocating back to Germany, Monika became a freelance translator, lecturer, writer and coordinator for an urban planning project.

Monika holds a master’s degree in American Studies, Comparative Literature and Theater Studies from the Free University of Berlin. She is fluent in German, English, French and Spanish. During the summer and winter, she works out of her own office on a variety of texts. During the spring and autumn, she enjoys meeting with travel groups.

In her free time, Monika likes to read, travel and work on volunteer projects with autistic children.

Louise Maciejewski

After studying at St. Clare’s Hall in Oxford, England, Louise Maciejewski attended the Institute of Archaeology, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in archaeology. She later enjoyed an apprenticeship at a fine art conservation and restoration studio. Louise has worked as a canvas and panel painting conservator and restorer for various auction houses. As an on-site conservator, she has been involved in work on the Chapel of the Holy Shroud.

Fluent in English and Italian, she has translated Italian to English for guidebooks and magazines. She has worked as a tour guide for southern Tuscany and as an Etruscan tour guide at the Academia Etrusca.

In her free time, Louise’s interests include hiking, travel, painting, Italian art history, and Tuscan and Piedemonte cooking.

Leila Magarò

Leila Magarò was born in Florence and educated in England. On her return to Italy, she had graduated with a wide range of subjects, including history, philosophy and history of art.

She began working as a tour leader and guide in her early twenties and has since traveled extensively, while at the same time pursuing a career in medicine.

Her passion for architecture and the arts, focusing in particular on the Renaissance period and Italian history of art, has led her to attend several university courses and to give lectures in this field. Leila lives in Florence, but continues to travel for both pleasure and work, led by her love of art.

Leila is a avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction. She enjoys classical and jazz music, the theater and ballet, and she is an expert in both Italian and French cooking.

Pamela Morton

Pamela Morton brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to your experience of Provence. She earned a Certificate in Art Restoration from the Università Internazionale dell’Arte in Florence, Italy, and a B.F.A. in Painting and Sculpture from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California.

She underwent Museum Education at the John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California, did graduate work in American Studies at the San Diego State University and attended the Université de Provence (Aix Marseille I) in Aix-en-Provence in preparation of Maîtrise in English. Pamela has extensive experience in teaching in the U.S. and France

Pamela has also conducted historic and architectural walking tours of Aix-en-Provence. She has guided visits of Arles, and St. Remy and served as a lecturer on “The Provence of Cézanne and van Gogh.”

Marc Nathan

Born in France, Marc returned to his father’s homeland of South Africa at a very early age with his parents. He grew up in Cape Town’s wine-making Constantia Valley. After graduating from the University of Cape Town with a bachelor of arts degree, Marc and his wife explored some 45 countries, driving all the way to Europe along the East African coast before returning to South Africa along the West coast of the continent. After running his own business for a few years, he followed his enthusiasm for travel and found himself in the South African tourism industry. His many years as a national guide have allowed him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout southern Africa. Marc is fluent in English, French and Afrikaans. He also has a working knowledge of German. In his leisure time, enjoys reading, hiking and red wine.

Dr. Vadim A. Naumov

After earning his Ph.D. in Political Science, Dr. Vadim A. Naumov began teaching this subject that has captured his heart and mind. He has been a Professor of Political Science in Ukrainian universities for over 20 years and has spent the last six years teaching political science, political history and public relations at the National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. In addition teaching, Dr. Naumov has also written several books and many scholarly articles on politics, political history, public relations and campaign techniques.

When he isn’t busy teaching, writing or following the latest developments in the political world, Dr. Naumov enjoys researching and collecting items related to Ukranian folk customs and culture.

Gareth Owens

A native of England, Gareth Owens has spent over 20 years living and working in Crete. He completed his studies at University College London and held a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Crete and at the Heraklion Museum.

Gareth has published five books and more than 50 articles on the archaeology, epigraphy and philology of Minoan and Mycenaean Crete. For the last 12 years, he has been conducting a linguistic study of the evidence for the Minoan language of Bronze Age Crete and has recently completed a doctoral thesis in the Linguistics Department of Athens University, entitled “The Structure of the Minoan Language.”

When not studying ancient civilizations, Gareth enjoys spending time with his family, walking in the countryside of Crete, reading and listening to a wide variety of music. He also plays chess and backgammon and travels to lecture at foreign universities and for enjoyment.

Marianna Pirazzi

Marianna, a licensed tour guide and tour leader, began her career in the travel industry after graduating with a degree in tourism economy from the Catholic University of Milan. At the same time, she also worked as an event planner for major culinary events.

Fluent in Italian, English, French and German, she has led travel groups of many different nationalities throughout northern Italy. Marianna enjoys playing the piano and reading during her spare time.

Federico Poole

Federico Poole earned his degree in Classical Literature and a Ph.D. in Archaeology from the Istituto Universitario Orientale in Naples, Italy. He worked with the Archaeological Superintendency of Naples and Caserta and assisted in cataloging and setting up the Egyptian collection permanently exhibited at the Naples Archaeological Museum. Federico also worked as an archaeologist on a survey and study of the remains of the Roman ruins in Pozzuoli.

In addition to his work, Federico is also an author with works published in encyclopedias, catalogues, journals and newspapers.

Federico speaks Italian, English, French and German, as well as Coptic, Greek and Latin. He is also familiar with Middle- and Neo-Egyptian, especially their hieroglyphic and hieratic scripts.

Paolo Silvi

Born in Arezzo, Italy, Paolo Silvi is a licensed tour director for a variety of travel agencies. In his capacity, he has led groups of American travelers throughout Italy and Europe. He has also taught English to Italian students in Great Britain and the United States.

In 1996, the Tourist Office of Florence commissioned Paolo to act as Director and historical advisor for a video about Florence entitled “Fiorenza: 2000 Years of Legends and Curiosities.”

Paolo has earned a Law Degree at the University of Florence, qualified as a teacher of law and economy and, most recently, has become a lawyer.

In his spare time, Paolo enjoys gardening and, like most Italians, is an avid fan of soccer.

Patrizia Spini

A journalist for Scenari magazine since 1988, Patrizia Spini has also worked as a tour leader in Italy and Europe. She has been a tour guide in Italy since 1997 and has also worked as a teacher and as secretary for the International Festival of Classical Music in Stresa. Fluent in English, French and German, Patrizia studied foreign languages at the Collegium Europaeum and Political Science at the Universita Degli Studi di Milano.

In her free time, Patrizia enjoys skiing, sailing, swimming, reading, working in her garden, riding mountain bikes and listening to classical music.

George Spyridakis

With a lifelong interest in education, George Spyridakis has dedicated himself to teaching and learning. Born in Greece, George attended Belgrade University where he studied English Literature and developed a fluency in Serbo-Croatian in addition to English, German and his native Greek.

George taught English at several different foreign language schools in Crete before shifting his focus to more individualized education. He now teaches private lessons in Ancient History and Modern Greek to high school students and also spends time lecturing for visiting study abroad programs from the University of North Carolina.

A member of archaeological and history organizations, George is also a member of the Alpine Club of Crete and enjoys spending time being active outdoors.

Ken Tobyn

Ken Tobyn is a British citizen who currently resides in Vico Equense, Italy, located on the Amalfi Coast. He attended Hull University in the United Kingdom and received his B.A. in Italian and French. He has worked as a journalist for an Italian daily newspaper, an interpreter and as a consultant. Ken is also an English teacher at the University of Salerno and at the University of Suor Orsola Benincasa. He is also an Oral Examiner at the University of Cambridge.

Along with his native English, Ken can speak Italian and French. In his free time, Ken enjoys music, travel, cinema, reading, gardening and walking.

Harry van Hest

A Belgium citizen, Harry van Hest currently resides in Antwerp. Professionally, he has worked as host and presenter in a variety of fields, including theater, radio and television.

Currently, Harry specializes in public speaking, which he enjoys immensely. He can speak Dutch, English and French along with a little German. Harry’s interests include history and learning about his city of Antwerp. In his free time, Harry likes to read books, watch films and entertain friends.

Job Weststrate

Job Weststrate was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and grew up near the German border. Currently, he resides in the university town of Leiden. From 1993 until 1999, he studied at Leiden University and the Humboldt-Universität Berlin, majoring in Medieval History. He earned his M.A. at Leiden with a thesis on the Dutch Hanseatic towns in the Later Middle Ages.

In addition to teaching at Leiden University, Job is also pursuing his Ph.D. His dissertation examines the commercial development of the Eastern Netherlands between 1350 and 1570. Job's articles on Hanseatic trade in the Netherlands have been published in several important journals, both in the Netherlands and abroad.

Job is also the editor of Madoc, a well-known Dutch journal on medieval history. His contributions to other publications have featured a study on Emperor Charles V, which was distributed by the prestigious Mercatorfonds, a publisher of art books in Antwerp.

Additionally, Job has worked as a specialized guide in Museum Boerhaave, wrote articles on history in children’s magazines and translated medieval beer recipes for a Japanese brewery.



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