Martin Gray spent the best part of his working life lecturing at the University of Stirling, where he became Head of the Department of English Studies. He is author of several academic books, as well as The Penguin Book of the Bicycle (1978). His involvement with Italy started at the University of Perugia in the mid-1960s. Since then he has travelled all over Italy as often as he could. In 1972 he bought a house near Montalcino. He started Learn Italy in 2002.
Steve Kershaw is a Classics Tutor for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, and the leader of the European Studies Classical tour for Rhodes College and the University of the South. He has travelled extensively in the Mediterranean world, lecturing on the Classical sites and culture of the region. His latest publication, A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths, was published in 2007, and he is currently working on A Brief Guide to Classical Civilisation and developing an online course in Greek Mythology for Oxford University. He is also an honors graduate of the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, and is regarded as one of the finest jazz double bass players in the UK. He lives in the Oxfordshire town of Deddington with his artist wife and his English Springer Spaniel.
Dr Diana Matthews has an MA in Medieval Studies and a Ph.D. in the architecture of Renaissance Rome, the latter being the result of a long love affair with the arts, culture, food, and cities of Italy. She taught art and architecture for the Open University for ten years, including a course on Siena, and then at Reading University and, more briefly, at Oxford Brookes. She also lectures to a variety of art societies including Rye and Rochester and for the Friends of the Ashmolean in Oxford. Currently, she lectures for the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education where she enjoys teaching weekly classes, the occasional Summer School, and series of lectures at Rewley House. She has led a number of groups to Italian cities, including Rome, Siena, and Urbino.
Andrew Parsons was fortunate to develop a deep and abiding love of art and architecture whilst he was still at school and has some treasured catalogues in his extensive collection that he collected at that time. After some time as a teacher in London he retrained as a psychologist and then worked for many years in that capacity in Oxfordshire whilst also teaching Child Development with the Open University. As he approached retirement he discovered the Continuing Education Department in Oxford and he has spent a decade pursuing his ongoing love of art and architecture by attending different courses and lectures there. A long standing francophile he has also been on many trips with Learn Italy and thereby discovered a world beyond France. His main interests are in the various manifestations of early art and architecture and how late nineteenth century art gave way to the development of Modernism.