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The Thinking Traveller

Author: Academy Travel

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A series that draws on the passions, expertise and interests of Academy Travel's academic tour leaders, to bring a wealth of additional knowledge to your travels, one topic at a time. Our tour leaders talk on a range of topics and interests related to travel, covering history, culture, archaeology, architecture, the visual arts and the performing arts.
56 Episodes
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Everybody knows the story of Romeo and Juliet. They are arguably the most famous lovers in literature. Their story has been told and retold through countless interpretations, from classical Shakespearean tragedies to Stephen Sondheim's West Side Story! But what is the real story behind these star-crossed lovers?Joining us for this episode is Dr Eireann Marshall, who herself lives not far from fair Verona. Eireann explains the truth behind the story of Romeo and Juliet as she uncovers if they ...
In the lead up to the National Gallery of Victoria’s new landmark exhibition Pharaoh, we are joined on our podcast by popular UK-based Egyptologist Lucia Gahlin.Ancient Egypt has been at the forefront of Australia’s cultural life during 2024, with three block-buster exhibitions visiting Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne – each with a different focus and unique artefacts. Undoubtedly, Pharaonic Egypt is an era of history that continues to fascinate and enthral. In this episode, Lucia guides ...
We all love going to the theatre, whether it’s a light-hearted musical or a deep thought-provoking drama. But the term theatre encompasses so much more… From Ancient Greece to modern day West End, every civilisation has (or had) some form of theatre performance and each is quite unique.In this episode we are joined by Dr Kate Foy to discuss the history of theatre, the various associated customs and the many experiences to be had. Kate's PhD studies focussed on world theatre history, whi...
Flanked by the towering Andes to the east and the wild Pacific Ocean to the west, the impossibly dry Atacama Desert is the spectacular result of this unique geography. Despite its aridity, the Atacama region was first occupied by humans over 10,000 years ago and this hyper arid environment has subsequently allowed for the preservation of materials that most archaeologists can only dream of.In this episode we are joined by Dr Chris Carter to discuss what can be found in the region, from ...
Founded in 1485 by Henry VII, the Tudor dynasty, although short lived, was coloured by rebellions, conspiracies, challenges to succession, and fear of further civil war. From historical research to popular novels, TV series and even a West End musical, the Tudor period in England continues to hold an amazing fascinationIn this episode, Dr Lauren MacKay delves into the history (and truth) of this infamous dynasty. Lauren is an historian of Early Modern Europe. Her debut book, Inside the Tudor ...
The Lombardy region of Italy, bordered on the north by Switzerland and south by the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, has a fascinating and complex history. But where did the name Lombardy originally come from? The Lombards were a Germanic tribe who fought their way across Europe during the Early Middle Ages, before settling on the northern part of the Italian Peninsula where they would establish a powerful kingdom that grew rapidly. In the process, the Lombards became a major thor...
In the lead up to the Sydney exclusive exhibition 'Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs' at the Australian Museum, we are joined on this episode by Egyptologist Dr Bill Manley as he provides a fascinating insight into the Pharaoh who continues to enthral, more than 3,000 years after he ruled Egypt. Known as Ramses the Great, Ramses II was one of the most powerful and influential Pharaohs to have ruled Egypt in its Golden Age. Ramses also built more monuments and sired more children than any ...
Tune in to this special Broadway Spotlight series, brought to you by Peter Eyers, host of the STAGES podcast. In January 2024, Peter will be leading a 10-day tour to sample the best of Broadway and New York - alongside a host of cultural experiences at museums and galleries populating The Big Apple.In this episode, Peter talks with Kaye Tuckerman, who played Broadway in the Donna Summer Musical! - and has appeared in extensive Musical Theatre product around the globe. She relishes living in t...
Tune in to this special Broadway Spotlight series, brought to you by Peter Eyers, host of the STAGES podcast. In January 2024, Peter will be leading a 10-day tour to sample the best of Broadway and New York - alongside a host of cultural experiences at museums and galleries populating The Big Apple.In this episode, Peter chats with showbiz icon Caroline O’Connor, who has played Broadway 3 times - in ‘Chicago’, ‘A Christmas Story’ and ‘Anastasia’. They are but three of her theatrical triumphs ...
Tune in to this special Broadway Spotlight series, brought to you by Peter Eyers, host of the STAGES podcast. In January 2024, Peter will be leading a 10-day tour to sample the best of Broadway and New York - alongside a host of cultural experiences at museums and galleries populating The Big Apple.In this episode, Peter chats with Michaeljon Slinger. Born in Queensland, Michaeljon found himself studying in New York in his late teens. He received a full scholarship to attend American Ballet T...
Tune in to this special Broadway Spotlight series, brought to you by Peter Eyers, host of the STAGES podcast. In January 2024, Peter will be leading a 10-day tour to sample the best of Broadway and New York - alongside a host of cultural experiences at museums and galleries populating The Big Apple.In this episode, Peter talks with Amelia Cormack, who has played on Broadway over the past year in the Tony Award winning Best Musical - HADESTOWN. Peter caught up with Amelia live from New York Ci...
Tune in to this special Broadway Spotlight series, brought to you by Peter Eyers, host of the STAGES podcast. In January 2024, Peter will be leading a 10-day tour to sample the best of Broadway and New York - alongside a host of cultural experiences at museums and galleries populating The Big Apple.In this episode, Peter chats with Hayden Tee. Hayden is currently touring Australia in the new Musical phenomenon - & Juliet. But he is no stranger to appearing on the stages of the West End an...
Tune in to this special Broadway Spotlight series, brought to you by Peter Eyers, host of the STAGES podcast. In January 2024, Peter will be leading a 10-day tour to sample the best of Broadway and New York - alongside a host of cultural experiences at museums and galleries populating The Big Apple.In this episode, Peter chats with Maree Johnson, who opened the premiere Australian production of The Phantom of the Opera in Melbourne in 1990 as a member of the ensemble and a cover for Christine...
Tune in to this special Broadway Spotlight series, brought to you by Peter Eyers, host of the STAGES podcast. In January 2024, Peter will be leading a 10-day tour to sample the best of Broadway and New York - alongside a host of cultural experiences at museums and galleries populating The Big Apple.In this episode, Peter chats with theatre great Tony Sheldon, who triumphed as Bernadette in the musical PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT……following an extensive tour the production played Broadway an...
Tune in to this special Broadway Spotlight series, brought to you by Peter Eyers, host of the STAGES podcast. In January 2024, Peter will be leading a 10-day tour to sample the best of Broadway and New York - alongside a host of cultural experiences at museums and galleries populating The Big Apple.In this episode, Peter chats with Carmel Dean. Carmel a composer/lyricist, arranger, music supervisor/director, and conductor of musical theatre, based in NYC. Her composition credits include Renas...
Cuba - Then and Now

Cuba - Then and Now

2023-08-0547:49

Cuba is one of those destinations that, merely by its name, conjures up images of vibrant art, soul stirring music and colonial streets populated by enormous ancient Chevrolets. But what is the real story of Cuba and what is Cuba like today?In this episode we are joined by Dr Stephen Wilkinson - Chairman of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba - to discuss. Stephen first visited Cuba in 1986 and has been travelling to and writing about the island ever since.Academy Travel is a le...
Since the first official excavations in 1748, Pompeii has captured the popular imagination of the Western world, and there has never been a better time to visit with new finds still emerging in the current excavations.Much of the site, which for many years was closed to the public, is now accessible and some of the new impressive finds can be viewed in situ or in the newly re-opened museum on site.In this episode, we are joined by Dr Estelle Lazer who has worked on the human remains of the Po...
Israel's Masada Myth

Israel's Masada Myth

2023-05-2033:12

When Masada was excavated in the 1960s, Israel was a very new country (less than 20 years old), full of immigrants from many different backgrounds, and was struggling to find an identity beyond being the homeland for the Jews after the horrors of the Holocaust.One of the reasons that Prof. Yigael Yadin went to dig at this forgotten site was to create a social link with the ancient Jewish state that was destroyed by the Romans, and to encourage modern Israelis to see themselves as the heirs of...
From primary school, all Australian school children learn about the sacrifice of the first Anzacs at Gallipoli. However, it's sometimes surprising to learn that Australians have served in battles and wars in every corner of the globe for over 200 years, participating in some very unexpected conflicts.From the tale of Sub-Lieutenant Dick Pirrie, the first Australian killed during the D-Day Allied assault on the Normandy beaches of France, to the story of Pilot Officer Frank Mathers from Pagewo...
There are two great theatre districts of the world – The West End in London and Broadway in New York. It can be argued strongly over which is the more dominant or important, but in popular culture Broadway shines brightest. So iconic did the lights of Broadway become that when they were dimmed during World War I, public demand forced the federal government to increase the city’s coal ration so that the lights could be restored.In this episode, professional actor Peter Eyers joins us...
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