Anke Tietz, PhD (

CEO and Founder

Anke grew up in Southern Germany, surrounded by Celtic and Roman remains, Medieval monasteries and Baroque churches. After receiving an MA in Latin, Greek and Ancient History from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, she continued her studies at Yale University, from where she graduated with a PhD in Classics. Before founding Via Antiqua, Anke was part of an international research team to explore the history of the Xanthos valley in South West Turkey.


Francesca Spiegel ( at

Director of Operations

An alumna of Yale University, King’s College London and the Humboldt-University, Berlin, Francesca studied Classics and specialized in ancient Greek drama.


Ornella Rossi, PhD (ornella.rossi at

Program Development

Ornella was born in Florence. After earning her “Laurea” (MA) in classics from the University of Pisa, she moved to Yale, where she received a PhD in Latin Literature. In 2010 she moved back to Florence: very soon she started working for I Tatti Renaissance Library (Harvard University Press), of which she is currently Assistant Editor. This offered Ornella an invaluable opportunity to combine her love for the ancient world with a new passion: the Italian Rinascimento.


Frauke Michler (frauke.michler at via-antiqua dot com)

Program Development

Frauke is an art historian and a specialist in historical monuments and cultural heritage. After double graduation from Université d’Aix-en-Provence in France and Universität Tübingen, currently teaching at Sorbonne University in Paris. Frauke is a passionate connoisseur of historical monuments in France and delighted to make Via Antiqua travelers discover the splendor and the secrets of cultural heritage in France.


Dr. des. Melanie Heinle (melanie.heinle at via-antiqua dot com)

Trip Manager

Melanie is an archaeologist and a historian at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich.  Melanie is not only a passionate camper and hiker, but she also authored an archaeological guide to the Lycian Way, a long-distance hiking trail in Turkey.


Manuela Thoma, M.A. (manu.thoma at via-antiqua dot com)

Trip Manager; Wine Consultant

Manuela studied history, comparative literature, and German literature at the University of Tübingen. She is particularly interested in post-medieval European history and is currently writing her doctoral thesis in Tübingen and Oslo. Manuela is a passionate cook and a lover of wine and whiskey. She works part-time in a traditional wine store and accompanies her boss to renowned wine fairs all over Germany.


Claudia Portogallo, M.Phil (

Trip Manager

Claudia is a classicist. Being trained at various universities all over Germany and the United States, she specialized in the reception of Classical texts in Renaissance Italy, esp. Tuscany. She is a PhD candidate at Yale University. Being very passionate about spreading the rich and curious knowledge of both the ancient Mediterranean and the Italian Renaissance, she recently co-initiated The Florentine Libraries Inter-mapping Project (FLIP) and WaRP, the Watermark Recognition Project. She is now living in Italy, where she and her family are producing their own olive oil and wine.


Silke Rondholz, M.A. (silke.rondholz at via-antiqua dot com)

Trip Manager

Silke studied history, Latin, and German literature at the University of Tübingen. Besides teaching history, Latin, and literature, Silke practices living history and takes part in historical conventions and reenactments with her Early Music band Qui mal y pense.


PD Dr. Werner Tietz (werner.tietz at via-antiqua dot com)

Historical Adviser

Werner is an archeologist and a historian. In addition to teaching at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, he has held research fellowships at many international institutions, including Yale and Princeton.


Hans Rondholz


After a long career with various major companies, Hans is now responsible for keeping the numbers straight at Via Antiqua. Hans loves to travel and is also an accomplished photographer.