Valentina is a noted chef, author and broadcaster on the subject of Italian cuisine. She has published more than 30 books including Risotto! Risotto!, Italian Regional Cookery and Food and Cooking of Milan and Bologna.
Dr Alex Koller was born and schooled in Vienna. He studied Art History and Slavonic studies at the Universities of Vienna and Salzburg and then went on to obtain his PhD at Magdalene College, Cambridge (1998). Since then he has led cultural tours throughout Europe and the Far East.
Tim was co-founder of the UK's leading wine tours company, which he ran for nearly 30 years leading numerous tours to wine regions worldwide. Having sold the company some years ago, Tim has been busy with other projects, including making a delicious passito wine on the Greek island of Samos.
Louisa first visited Venice briefly in 1995 on a gap year, only to fall deeply in love with the city's art, culture and ambience. Graduating from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, she went on to take a Master's in the History of Art, Venice and Rome, at the University of Warwick, partly held in La Serenissima.
Oliver has an MA in organ performance studies from Cardiff University where he studied under the renowned Bach scholar Peter Williams. He also has a Premier Prix from the Conservatoire at Rueil Malmaison, Paris. Following his MA, Oliver worked at Classic FM Magazine for five years, before leaving in 2004 to become the editor of BBC Music Magazine.
Kirsty Fergusson exchanged a career in academia (she is a PhD specialising in French philosopher-novelists) for a life in gardening. Trained at Capel Manor, she was head gardener at Mapperton in Dorset during the early nineties, where a series of fortunate encounters opened the door to garden writing.
Simon Monckton studied Theology at Durham University. He is particularly interested in the influence of religion on great Mediaeval cathedrals and how this differed throughout Europe. Simon has led tours to destinations all over the world and has taken cultural tours to all regions of Spain on many occasions.
Jonathan Ray is the Drinks Editor for The Spectator magazine, drinks columnist of The Field and Spear’s Magazine, contributing editor of Boat International and author of several books on wine and spirits including All About Wine, Bloodlines & Grapevines, Drink More Fizz! and That’s the Spirit!.