Will von Behr
Whilst touring his family around Rome, Will realised there was no way to find concise, interesting, and reliable information without hiring a tour guide. As a result, he decided to leave academia and found Urbs. He studied Classics at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford University, and has a passion for all things ancient.
Francesca is an arts writer, gallery guide and tutor. She trained at the Warburg Institute in London, specialising in Renaissance art and culture. Since then, she’s held roles at a number of prestigious galleries and museums including The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Jack’s always been enthralled by curious places and mad stories. He found them in fantasy first, then he discovered history. So he took a BA from Trinity College Dublin, an MPhil from Cambridge and is currently researching there for his PhD, exploring cross-cultural interactions between Islam and England in the early modern world. But his real thrill is travel, feeling those great colourful expanses and claustrophobic alleys, where history comes alive.
Food and wine first drew Eleanor to Paris, where she now lives and writes for publications including The Telegraph, AFAR and Time Out. She studied at Ashburton Chefs Academy and the WSET after gaining her degree from Oxford. Since then, she's worked with travel brands including Eurostar and Evaneos and authored her first book, A Curious Traveler's Guide to Paris.
Food, travel and writing are the main reasons Ter likes to get up in the morning. On a good day he can do all three. He’s a travel writer, photographer and foodie living in Johannesburg with a soft spot for London and Paris.
Dr Hester Vaizey
Hester studied for her BA, MPhil and PhD at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, before becoming a History lecturer at Clare College, Cambridge. She has published several books, including Surviving Hitler’s War (Macmillan), Keep Britain Tidy (Thames and Hudson), Born in the GDR (Oxford University Press) and Letters of Note (Bloomsbury). She currently works as a freelance historian.
Dr Jan Tattenberg
Jan recently completed his DPhil in History at New College, Oxford where his work explored continuities in German history across the 20th century. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich.
Antonis is an archaeologist and freelance writer with an interest in museums and heritage. He was born and raised in Athens, where he now lives and works. He holds an MSc in Museum Studies from the University of Glasgow and a BA in History and Archaeology from the University of Athens (NKUA). He’s passionate about making the classical past accessible to as many people as possible through his writing.
Nicola is pursuing a DPhil in Medieval History at the University of Oxford, after having studied the same subject in Pisa and Paris. He specialises in 14th-century merchants and Mediterranean connections in the late medieval period. Apart from history, he loves travelling and exploring the unknown, be it a medieval village or the pristine nature of the Dolomites. Originally from Italy, he has always enjoyed travelling to different countries and learning about foreign cultures. Nicola is passionate about conveying to the wider public the idea that the Middle Ages is not a ‘dark period’ and that history is a fascinating subject.
Francisca is a PhD candidate in Art History at the NOVA University of Lisbon, a contemporary art magazine editor, and co-founder of FITA (friends in the arts), an online platform established to facilitate the search for job placements in the art world. Born and raised in Lisbon, Francisca has worked at various prestigious institutions and events, including La Biennale di Venezia, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in her home city.
Francisco Teles da Gama
Francisco holds a degree in History and a Master's in Medieval History from the University of Lisbon. He publishes articles and poems in Portuguese magazines and newspapers, has coordinated conferences on historical heritage, and presented papers at several international colloquia. Francisco’s worked at the Museum of Lisbon, the Bordalo Pinheiro Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, among other cultural spaces in Europe. He’s the editor-in-chief of the international publication FITA Magazine, and he’s currently pursuing his PhD in Medieval Art History at Nova University of Lisbon.
Oscar is currently a PhD student at Merton College, Oxford, researching the Chapel Royal in the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I/VI, following from a Master's in history at Jesus College, Oxford. With deep academic roots in the early modern world, Oscar is an expert on Tudor and Stuart religious and political culture, court life, and religious and secular art. In his spare time, Oscar enjoys reading the novels of Nancy Mitford and Anthony Trollope, gardening, and painting (not very well!)
Hannah is a freelance writer, editor and food photographer based in Oxford. After completing an English degree at the University of Oxford, she undertook the full professional diploma at Leiths School of Food and Wine. Since then, she has worked as a recipe developer, taught cookery, reviewed restaurants, and baked wedding cakes, among other things.
Bethan is a freelance journalist who's written for Timeout, Vice, Cosmopolitan and various other magazines. She specialises in pop culture and lifestyle journalism and divides her time between sitting at home scrolling Instagram and ambling around cities eating at restaurants and shopping in vintage stores.
Doug is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Cambridge, and he previously studied for a BA in History (Wake Forest University), a JD (Washington & Lee School of Law), and an MA in Medieval History (King’s College London). His doctoral research focuses on the central common law courts of England during the reign of Henry III. Doug is a native of LA and has been fascinated by history and enamoured with travel for as long as he can remember.
Clementine de la Poer Beresford
Clementine is the Curator of the Goodwood Collection. Alongside this, she is working on a part-time AHRC funded PhD on royal ceremony in the 17th century. She has previously gained experience at Winchester Cathedral and Historic Royal Palaces. With a passion for sharing history and the joys of the past with as many people as possible, Clementine runs a successful Instagram account.
Antonia is an Italian-American writer and experienced wine professional living in Florence. It was her love of Italy from a young age and desire to embark on an Italian wine-focused path that led her to pursue an MBA in Food & Wine at the University of Bologna in 2011. For the last decade she has been tasting and sipping her way through every corner of Italy, immersing herself in the culture and becoming a certified sommelier.
Domenica has studied History of Art at Goldsmiths University, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Sotheby’s Institute in New York and The American University of Rome. She’s worked at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and Sotheby’s at Venice Biennale, and is now an art dealer in the UK.
Aman is a freelance travel journalist based in New Zealand. Over the years, he’s written for print, budding startups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between.
Daisy is the editor of A Little Bird, an award-winning website and weekly newsletter described by The Guardian as 'Vogue meets Radio 4, online’. It’s an insider’s guide to London and covers the best of art, culture and style in the capital. Daisy also writes travel features for publications including Condé Nast Traveller, SUITCASE and Eurostar magazine on a freelance basis. After a stint in Amsterdam, she’s now settled in London where she was born and raised.
Archie completed a PhD on architectural space in Renaissance literature. He has taught early modern and contemporary literature, as well as literary theory, and is now a research associate at the University of Sheffield.
Sonia Cuesta Maniar
Sonia spent her formative years living in several countries before settling in a small village in mainland Spain. During her childhood, she developed a love for architecture, food, local tales, and customs. Growing up listening to her elders tell stories about the past, she became deeply fascinated with social and cultural history. Unsurprisingly, she went on to pursue a BA in History and Philosophy from Durham University and an MSt in History from Oxford, where she is currently pursuing her PhD, which looks at social and political repression in Francoist Spain.
Sam is from Boston and studied Ecology, Photography and Spanish at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He subsequently trained as a chef at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Now based in Barcelona, he’s a food and travel writer with years of experience as a restaurant critic, guidebook writer, and as a freelance contributor for various international outlets, online and in print. In his spare time he likes to take clients on bespoke gastronomic experiences in the old city centre of Barcelona.
Lucy is a freelance Latin and Ancient Greek tutor and also works on historical research for TV, radio, film and book projects. Her work focuses on making history, especially Classics, engaging and accessible to as wide an audience as possible. She has currently returned to study to complete a PhD in Classics, working on Xenophon's Art of Horsemanship.
Giorgia holds a BA in History from the University of Bologna and an MPhil in Greek History from the University of Oxford, where she's currently pursuing her PhD in Ancient History, looking at women's participation in cults and rituals in Ancient Greece. Originally from Italy, she loves Classical culture and tries to escape to Greece whenever she can.
A former New Yorker and staff travel editor, Jennifer has lived in Europe since 2016, making her home in Amsterdam, Berlin, Zagreb, and now, Barcelona. She freelances for a variety of travel publications, including Condé Nast Traveller, Departures, and AFAR. She also writes guidebooks for Fodor’s and Frommer’s, and is the author of the recent Frommer’s Guide to Amsterdam, Brussels & Bruges.
Moorea studied Italian and Art History at Vassar College in New York and the University of Bologna before moving to Amsterdam for an MA in Technical Art History. She’s currently a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam studying 16th- and 17th-century painting techniques from Italy and the Netherlands. When living in Bologna, she wrote a travel blog about trying lesser-known local specialties from all 20 regions of Italy, and she continues to explore and appreciate Italian food and Dutch art.
Mimi recently completed a PhD in Economic History at the University of Oxford. Prior to that she worked at Sotheby's auction house and for the art start-up Smartify. She is now a freelance writer and teacher living in London.
Rafael is a Brazilian journalist and food writer living in Portugal, who travels the world to eat and write. He covers food trends, eating traditions and the restaurant industry. His work has appeared in publications such as Eater, Munchies (Vice), Slate, Epicurious and Atlas Obscura. He is the coordinator of the Master’s in Food Journalism and Communications at Basque Culinary Centre.
Alex is a DPhil student in history at Oxford University specialising in the British Civil Wars. He also did his BA and MSt in History at the same university.
Joe is an art historian, writer, and curator who has lectured and worked internationally. Joe studied History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia at SOAS, University of London and is a specialist in Japan and Korea. Joe has lectured extensively on art and architecture in Italy, France, Japan, Spain and the UK.
Mary Gray is an American-born, Florence-based writer, journalist and editor. An accredited member of Italy's foreign press, Mary draws from a decade of on-the-ground (mis)adventures and an academic background in Italian Studies in her work. She's happiest at a run-down trattoria table or a market hawking chic hand-me-downs, having no Italian nonna of her own.
John-Francis first fell in love with Rome as a young schoolboy traveling with his parents and grandparents through Italy. Like a pious pilgrim, or a helpless lover, he has been returning to her enchanted precincts ever since! He holds a BA in Classics and a PhD from Oxford University in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies with a focus on Byzantine Catholics in the 15th century.
Lucy works in the learning departments at the Imperial War Museum and Dulwich Picture Gallery in London. Prior to that, she studied English Literature at Trinity College Dublin.
SJ is a freelance travel journalist based in London, who writes about her experience travelling in 80+ countries. She holds a Master’s degree in Postcolonialism from SOAS University of London, and has worked as a research assistant in the field of Trans-African contemporary art.
Following a degree in French language at the University of Bristol, and further studies in freelance travel writing with the London School of Journalism, Charlotte spends her spare time writing for travel publications. With a strong passion for the sector, she also works in marketing within the luxury travel industry.
Anna Dorothea Ker
Anna is a writer and editor who threads together diverse interests across the cultural spectrum from her current base in Berlin – and wherever her travels take her. Her favourite place to think is en route, preferably with a view to the open sky. She previously served as Senior Editor at iGNANT and Editor-in-Chief at Cee Cee Berlin.
After studying Art, English Literature and History of Art at Harrow College of Art, Lancaster University and Reading University, Stella moved to Athens from London in 1994. She has worked in journalism (as Arts editor at Athens News and English editor at The Art Magazine), and has contributed articles to publications such as Athens Insider magazine, and Neos Kosmos newspaper. Stella has also worked as a translator and exhibition organizer, and runs the site Art Scene Athens.
Anastasia is a freelance journalist, published author and ghost writer based between Athens and London. She’s written for The Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and The New York Times, focusing on travel, food, sustainability and news stories within Greece. Her first book, Wallpaper* City Guide Athens, was published by Phaidon in 2020, whilst her second book, Grand Dishes, featuring the time-perfected dishes and stories of grandmothers worldwide, was published in 2021.
Alex is a British journalist and documentary producer based between Athens and London who covers humanitarian issues, activism and alternative culture. He writes for international publications such as The Guardian, Dazed and Confused, Huck Magazine, Vice and Novara Media. His travel pieces from Greece can be found at Adventure.com, Greece Is and This is Athens, and his first book Soul of Athens: A Guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences was released in 2021.
As a travel journalist, Ben has visited around 90 countries, writing about many of them for numerous newspapers, magazines and websites around the world, as well as writing several travel books. His articles have been published by the Times, the Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Vogue, GQ and easyJet Traveller.
Tiffany is a freelance journalist and radio host living in London after completing a BA in Literary and Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Glamcult and she hosts a monthly show on Voices Radio. Though Amsterdam may be best known for its nightlife and recreational drug laws, she thinks the city’s green spaces and lakes are overlooked gems.
Derek is a freelance writer, editor, and journalist with over 12 years’ experience covering culture, travel, and technology for a variety of publications, both in print and online. He’s written for the Guardian, Independent, NME and Vice, and has covered Amsterdam extensively for Timeout, editing their most recent guidebook to the city. A keen traveller, he’s been around the world several times, spending time in the US, the Caribbean, New Zealand, and exploring Europe. While always seeking out culture, for Derek nothing beats a stretch of pure white sand, azure blue waters, a good book, and an ice-cold drink in hand.
Rebecca is a PhD researcher and tutor in English and History of Art at the University of Cambridge. With a special interest in Renaissance Italy and Romantic Art, her academic work spans a variety of periods and mediums. She also has two first-class degrees: a BA in English from Oxford and an MA in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute.
Harry is a PhD student at the Courtauld Institute of Art, specialising in Middle Byzantine Eucharistic Objects. He holds an MA from the Courtauld and a BA in Classics from the University of Cambridge.
Terry is a travel writer and tour guide specialising in Turkey. He lived in the country for many years and has been travelling its length and breadth for some four decades for both work and leisure. He wrote The Rough Guide to Istanbul and was main author of The Rough Guide to Turkey for many years. He’s written for several other guidebooks, as well as contributing to a number of newspapers and magazines, amongst them the Telegraph and Wanderlust.
Joel is a historian of the Ottoman Empire in the early modern period, having studied at Durham, St Andrews, Sabancı, and Oxford. He lived in Istanbul from 2013 to 2015 while studying, and has always since intended to return for another extended stint in the ‘capital of Earth’. A Turkish speaker, Joel’s interests include Turkish literature, Turkish alternative music, and Turkish football.