Lecturers and Tour Managers
Tom Duncan was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied History of Art, and Classical Archaeology. He then studied in the United States and moved to England in 1984 to complete his PhD. He taught at University level and now lectures widely to heritage and artistic organisations such as The Art Fund and NADFAS. He began to lead tours twenty years ago and founded CICERONI Travel in 1998.
Charles Freeman is an academic historian specialising in the civilization of the ancient world. He has written several books, two of which are particularly important: Egypt, Greece and Rome – Civilisations of the Ancient Mediterranean, Oxford University Press, (3rd Edition, 2014) and The Greek Achievement, Penguin (1999). Both immediately established themselves as fluent and engaging introductions.
James Hill is our Italian and U.S. Tour Director. British born, he has been resident in Rome for many years. An authority on travel and culture in Italy, he is also a travel writer and has worked as a consultant with the BBC and other international broadcasters on some fifty arts and travel television programmes.
Paula Nuttall gained her PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art. She is a specialist in the renaissance, with a particular interest in artistic relations between Flanders and Florence, on which she has published widely. Her book, From Flanders to Florence: The Impact of Netherlandish Painting 1400 — 1500, Yale University Press (2004) has been widely praised as the standard work on its subject. She is Director of the V&A's Late Medieval to Early Renaissance Year Course.
James Howard is a professional actor and trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He has worked extensively on stage, including the National Theatre, Donmar Warehouse and Manchester Royal Exchange. He was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company Ensemble from 2009-2011, performing in London, the newly re-modelled RST in Stratford-upon-Avon, Newcastle and as part of the Lincoln Center Festival in New York.
Stephen Brook is a graduate of Nottingham University where he studied Mathematics and Management Studies. He then served as an Army Officer for 21 years undertaking various roles within the Royal Logistic Corps. He is now a co-owner and Director of CICERONI Travel with responsibility for finance and administration. From time to time he also acts as a tour manager.
Geoffrey Nuttall gained his PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art and combines art history with a career as an academic publisher. He has published and lectured widely on his specialist area of interest, the Italian city of Lucca and the patronage of its mercantile elite between 1300 and 1500.
David Sketchley was educated at Downside School & brought up in Africa & Latin America. He has lived in Spain, based in Andalucia, for over 20 years. He has an extensive knowledge of both Spain and Portugal and has worked with CICERONI Travel for many years as our local tour manager.
Christopher Smith is Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews and Director of the British School at Rome. He studied at Oxford University and has written extensively on the beginnings of the city of Rome and on Roman historical writing. He has just published a book on The Etruscans for the Very Short Introductions series.
Juliet Barclay studied at the Central School of Art & Design. She was brought up in the Caribbean and was for many years Head of Design for the Directorate of Cultural Heritage of the Office of the City Historian of Havana. She has published numerous books and articles on Cuban architecture and now runs the Marketing and Events Department of the Museum of the Order of St John.
Helen Dillion is Scottish by birth and has lived in Ireland for over forty years. She is justly regarded as Ireland’s most exciting and innovative gardener. Awarded the Veitch Gold Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society, she writes a regular column for the Society’s magazine, The Garden. The author of several amusing and influential gardening books, she is in wide demand as a lecturer throughout the world.
Jimi Blake trained in the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin after which he was appointed Head Gardener at Airfield House in Dundrum. After twelve years he sought a new challenge and he established “Hunting Brook Gardens.” He has used the garden both to grow and expand his plant collection and to share his passion and knowledge with the public.
Janet Cropley trained at Waterperry Horticultural School and Cambridge Botanic Garden. After further practical experience, she gained the National Diploma in Horticulture and has been putting its principles into practice ever since, with a strong emphasis on plantsmanship. Her garden in Northamptonshire, Hill Grounds just outside Evenley, is regarded as one of central England’s best.
Sylvia Richards trained as an artist in England and has lived on Lake Maggiore for many years, a marvellous base for someone deeply interested in all matters horticultural! From her home in Stresa, she has led many tours in the past for the RHS and similar bodies and has worked with CICERONI Travel for over 10 years.
Caroline Holmes is a garden historian, award-winning writer and design consultant. She lectures for Cambridge University ICE, NADFAS, the RHS, RA and many museums. Author of 11 books, her latest is Water Lilies and Bory Latour-Marliac, the genius behind Monet’s Water Lilies. She has presented several series on both TV and BBC Radio Four.
Susie Hunt worked as a journalist for the BBC and ITV for 15 years and has spent the last 10 years managing PR and marketing for ornamental gardens in the Cotswolds area. A recently qualified garden designer, Susie is married to our Shakespeare tour director James Howard and has spent much of her married life watching the Bard's plays! She was part of the management team for the Wars and Peace tour in March 2015.