Academic Experts

Academy Travel

Our job is to make your travel as well-planned and enjoyable as possible. Our expertise is broad ranging, with travel consultants, product managers, tour leaders and general administrative staff forming the team. Academy Travel has its own office in Rome, headed by Claudia Pfeiffer.

Academic Experts

Dr Estelle Lazer
Dr Estelle Lazer is an archaeologist whose internationally-recognised research investigated the skeletal remains found at Pompeii. Estelle researched on site at Pompeii over seven years. She has completed a major book and many scholarly articles on Pompeii. “It goes without saying that Dr Estelle Lazer is a pocket dynamo, and her level of expertise is unsurpassed. No question went unanswered, and her energy knew no bounds!” Narrabri High School, April 2012
Dr Kathryn Welch
Kathryn is a senior lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Sydney. She works with both university summer school and senior school groups who are studying the city of Rome in the late Republic and early Imperial periods. She also works with groups in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Brad Manera
Battlefield historian Brad Manera is executive director of the Anzac Memorial in Sydney and was previously a curator at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the experience of Australians on the World War I Battlefields in France, Belgium and Turkey, and a great ability to share this knowledge with students enthusiastically. “Brad Manera captured students’ imaginations with his expert information on site. It was like being transposed in time to give us a real understanding of what was. He went above and beyond our expectations and we look forward to travelling with him again on our next tour." Elissa Ivory, Lambton High School, April 2013
Kenan Çelik, OAM
Kenan works with groups on the Gallipoli Peninsula. He studied at Oregon State University on a Fulbright scholarship. Since retiring as a university lecturer at a Turkish university he has acted as a specialist guide for VIP groups to Gallipoli, including several heads of state. In 2000 Kenan was awarded the Order of Australia for services to Australian history.
Peter Smith
Peter has lived on the Somme Battlefields since 2004. A former British Royal Marine, he is a member of the British Commission for Military History, Guild of Battlefield Guides, Western Front Association, and a Friend of the Australian War Memorial. He is a knowledgeable and respected specialist guide on the Western Front in France and Belgium.
Dr Kathleen Olive
Kathleen has a PhD from the University of Sydney in Italian Renaissance studies. She works regularly with Academy Travel’s open-age groups on art and history tours in Italy and Spain. She works with school groups examining medieval and Renaissance Europe. “Kathleen is the criterion to which all tour leaders should aspire. She was absolutely brilliant.” Grand Tour of Italy, April 2012
Agnes Crawford
Agnes has lived in Rome since 2000 and has a Masters Degree from Edinburgh University. She has expert knowledge of Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Rome, and outstanding communication skills. Agnes provides both background talks and on site guiding in Rome, as well as providing insider knowledge of the city today.
Freya Middleton
Freya lives in Florence and has a first class honours degree in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney. She is a qualified local guide in Florence. As an Australian, she has a clear understanding of the background knowledge and needs of Australian students, as well as the Australian school system.

Tour Managers

Danila Checchin
Danila Checchin has worked with Academy Travel since 2012. She is Italian by birth and speaks the language fluently. Her teaching background in hospitality and tourism and 18 years of experience in the airline industry has developed her love of travel, history, art and culture. Danila has travelled extensively through Italy both as a tour manager and independently. She has also travelled in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia for work and leisure.
Sibilla Beccari
Sibilla Beccari has an Italian background and a passion for the country’s language, history and culture. She has a background in education, is a qualified English and History teacher, and has many years’ experience working in the airline industry both in Italy and Australia. Sibilla has lived in Italy and has extensive travel experience in Europe. She has worked with Academy Travel School groups since 2011.
Catherine Ramos
Catherine Ramos has worked with Academy Travel for several years both as an organising teacher and as a tour manager. As an experienced History teacher, Catherine has a unique insight into the requirements of both teachers and students. She has boundless energy and enthusiasm for all things travel and is known to add early morning jogging/sightseeing expeditions into programs!
Angela Pollicino
Angela Pollicino is an experienced secondary teacher working in the private school sector in Sydney. She was employed with academy travel in 2006 to assist in developing and delivering the schools program but now specialises in tour management and on-ground support for travelling school groups during the school holidays. Angela is an Italian speaker and has lived and worked in Italy and Greece as well as travelled extensively throughout Europe, the USA and Asia. She also has experience in social justice work in developing countries such as Cambodia.
Simona Albanese
Simona Albanese holds a Masters degree in Art History and is a lover of art, culture, food and language. Originally from Rome, Simona is now based in Australia and has worked with Academy Travel as a tour manager since 2010.
Julie Matesco
Julie Matesco has worked as a professional tour leader since 2001. Julie is based in Rome and has many years’ experience working with Academy Travel school, university and open age groups. She has a background in Art History and speaks French, English, German, Italian and Spanish. She has travelled extensively in Europe as well as Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle-East.
Elisabetta Amadi
Elisabetta Amadi is a native Venetian with a wealth of knowledge and work experience from around the world – she has tested skis in Switzerland, designed clothes in Australia and researched hotels in Thailand. Elisabetta has travelled far and wide, from Tanzania to Mexico and works with both Academy Travel’s adult and student tours. She holds a Masters in Marketing and speaks Italian, English, French, Spanish and German.

The quality choice for your overseas tour

Academy Travel is recognised for the quality of its school tours, and most of our bookings are from repeat clients. Several features of our operations make our services unique;

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