Originally from The Hague, In the Netherlands, Robert moved in 1983 to Pescara, Italy for his work and then moved to Rome in 1987. In his younger years he spent 7 years in the Royal Dutch Navy as an engineer and 25 years as a technician and manager in the international oil business, working all over Europe, the Middle East and in Africa. At present Robert manages his tour operator company and aims to take persons from all over the world to the archaeological, Art and culinary wonders of Italy www.Italian-adventures.com.
In 2006 he came into contact with associations that were active in Roman re-enactment and experimental archaeology and at present he is the vice president of “Mos Maiorum” a group that re-enacts and investigates the period of the Roman Republic and the Punic Wars. Robert is particularly interested in the various techniques the Romans mastered such as hydraulics, metals working, road construction, building construction etc.
The book “Appia” of Paolo Rumiz particularly passionated him to such a point that he decided to take up Paolo’s challenge; “Now we just have to wish that an army of travellers will flock to the Appia and pick up the Ariadne’s thread that we have laid out on the map of the Italian boot. If they are not Italians, so be it, foreigners are most welcome” Therefore Robert opted to walk the Appia Antica himself with some friends to create interest for the Appia as a hiking trail abroad.
Erik is from Leiden but lived most of his life in Alphen aan den Rijn in the Netherlands. He studied business economics at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and since 1991 he works for the University of Leiden currently as business controller at the Faculty of Science.
When in 1990 plans were made public to construct “Archeon”, an Archaeological theme park in Alphen aan den Rijn, Erik immediately became a firm and active supporter and member of the “Association Friends of Archeon” for which he has been treasurer for various years. This association organizes meetings and lectures, supervises and organizes volunteer work and special promotions for its members. Erik is also an official tour guide and guides in the Dutch, German and English language. He also has started with Italian lessons.
In Archeon he came into contact with the English re-enactment group “Legio Secunda Augusta”, which he joined. In 2007 he founded a Dutch branch of this group, which now has 60 members and is the largest living history group in the Netherlands. Both groups display Roman military and Civilian life by re-enacting life in Roman Legionary camp and showing civilian handicrafts.
Besides a great passion for ancient Roman, Erik also has a great passion for Italy. He travels there often and might even consider moving there if the opportunity arises since he would love to use his guide/tour leader qualities in that beautiful country. That is why he immediately signed up to participate in this great adventure journey: Walking the Via Appia and combine his passions for ancient Rome and contemporary Italy with another of his passions for long-distance walking/hiking.
Anna Lucina was born in Macerata, a town in the heart of the Italian Marche region, but later moved to nearby Urbisaglia or Urbs Salvia as it was called in Roman times. Founded as a colony in 2 BC and abandoned in 6 AD after attacks by the Visigoths. At present Urbisaglia has the largest and most interesting archaeological site in the region.
For more than 32 years Anna managed a company that fabricated leather shoe uppers for well-known Italian shoe companies. Her work tiggered her to study the civilizations that preceded us, in particular the Roman Empire and the footwear they used. Because walking was the primary means of transportation, the Romans conquered the world on foot, and it was therefore a must that they had comfortable and resistant shoes.
With that in mind she started research on construction methods, materials, and models. In 2002, after this research and some experimental archaeology, she converted the production of her company Lucina calzature to manufacture the footwear of ancient Rome and other historical periods like Greeks, Etruscans, Piceno, medieval, etc. Currently Anna collaborates with the Archaeological Museum in Ancona, the Museum of Byzantine and Medieval in Crecchio and the Archeon Museum in the Netherlands. Further she receives orders to produce shoes for theatrical productions and films and works with many historical re-enactment groups, providing them with the various footwear based on the historical period of their interest.
“When in 2017 I met Robert we found out, after an exchange of interests concerning history, that we also liked walking. Why not walk the Appian Way!? For me it is an exceptional opportunity to test the validity of the shoes I make on my feet and on the feet of friends with whom I will make this journey.”
Pedro Andrade is from Belo Horizonte, in Brazil. He has always been a big history enthusiast. He got a degree from his country in Museums Studies and has studied archaeology for 2 years in Rome, where he also participated in a few excavations. Currently he works as a tour guide in Rome, showing the city to its visitors. Pedro has also taken part on several reenactment events and at the moment he is a member of the Custodes Urbis (or Cornuti Seniores), which is a group focused on the early IV century A.D. Pedro has a particular interest in doing long walks, it is in his to-do list to explore the Appian Way and see what surprises it may bring.