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Italy--How can I find an academic tour guide?

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Dear All,

I have traveled with companies like Martin Randall, Andante Travel, & ACE, to Italy and Croatia, benefiting from their lecturers who are academics with expertise in art history or archaeology. This has enhanced my travel experience greatly and I’d love to find someone who could provide something similar for an afternoon or two to me and my husband on future travels in Italy (say in Florence, Rome, Venice, Ravenna, Verona, etc). Paris has something like this with Paris Muse (http://www.parismuse.com/) and at Chartres Cathedral, a gentleman who has published guides to the Cathedral and made a life’s work of studying it offers tours (http://www.artagogo.com/commentary/miller/miller.htm).

Does anyone know of an individual or individuals with academic expertise (as opposed to licensed local guides) who might be willing to act as a guide for museums or other sites of local interest in Venice, Florence, Ravenna, Verona, or any other places of special interest to art and history? If not, do you have any ideas on how to learn of such individuals? Thanks very much. Carol

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