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Dr Sophy Downes

A passionate enthusiast of the ancient world, Sophy has travelled extensively for her studies, and devoted her life to understanding its myriad cultures. In between teaching appointments at the University of Edinburgh, University College London and the American University of Rome, she has lived for several years in Greece and Italy, and was especially delighted to be appointed as Residential Postdoctoral Fellow at the British Institute of Persian Studies in Tehran in 2011.

With a BA from Oxford, an MPhil from Cambridge and a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, at University College London, Sophy has travelled and studied extensively in the UK, but it is her vast Mediterranean and Near Eastern knowledge that makes her such a wonderful guide for us. Fluent in Italian, and having recently returned to live in Rome, Sophy cannot wait to introduce our Peter Sommer Travels guests to the cuisine, culture, history, art, architecture and archaeology of this celebrated country. We are delighted that Sophy will be able to share her in-depth knowledge and infectious enthusiasm with our guests this year.


AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2015 Gold Award AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2017 Gold Award AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2018 Silver Award AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2019 Silver Award Best Travel Company for Arts and Culture Holidays Silver British Travel Award 2022 Member of AITO The Specialist Travel Association Member of ABTA the Association of British Travel Agents Member of ASTA The American Society of Travel Advisors Member of ABTOI the Association of British Travel Organisers to Italy

Rated as Excellent on Aito Reviews with over 500 reviews