Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Albert Leonard

photo of Albert  Leonard

Albert Leonard Jr. is Professor Emeritus in both the Departments of Classical Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona. Al is an archaeologist who specializes in the social impact of interregional trade among the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean world. For more than four decades, he has directed excavations at a number of sites in Italy, Greece, Portugal, Egypt, Cyprus, Israel and Jordan. Throughout his career, Al has been active in educational outreach and, in 2006, the Archaeological Institute of America awarded him its Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award by which it “acknowledged and applauded the invaluable service that [he] has given to the archaeological community as an educator.”

As his alter ego, the Time Traveling Gourmet, Al combines his command of archaeological, historical, and literary material with culinary skills acquired at Le Cordon Bleu as well as the Culinary Institute of America (partially supported by a Robert A. Parker Wine Advocate Scholarship) in order to reconstruct (in the classroom or the kitchen) dishes described by such ancient authors as Archestratus of Syracuse, a 4th-century B.C. Sicilian cook who has often been called the “Father of Gastronomy.” Al presently divides his time between Boston, where he is a Research Associate at the Harvard Semitic Museum, and California’s Russian River Valley, where he is a member of The Society of Wine Educators and the Northern Sonoma County convivium of Slow Foods International. 

What Our Travelers Say

In addition to his expertise, Al was good company.

- Previous Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

Very approachable, knowledgeable, easy to talk to. I especially appreciated his orientation to the mosaics we were to see in Sicily. Made that visit more meaningful.

- Previous Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

In addition to his expertise, Al was good company.

- Previous Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

Al is a warm, funny, knowledgeable expert who went out of his way to make sure the Smithsonian guests felt included. His presentation on Entertainment was the best of the week and great preparation for the visit to the Greek theater the next day. Al's a true pro with a heart of whatever is precious these days. He adds much to the Smithsonian Journeys presence on this trip. Don't lose him!

- Previous Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

Upcoming Tours

A Cruise from Lisbon to London

10 days | Starting at: $5,295
May 8, 2020 - May 17, 2020
May 2, 2021 - May 11, 2021
Tour Details ››

A Cruise to Ancient Greece

9 days | Starting at: $4,895
Oct 15, 2020 - Oct 23, 2020

Tour Details ››

A Cruise of the Adriatic and Aegean

9 days | Starting at: $4,495
Sep 17, 2021 - Sep 25, 2021
Sep 24, 2021 - Oct 2, 2021

From Venice to Athens Aboard the Le Bougainville
Tour Details ››

Cruising the Rivieras of Italy, France, and Spain

9 days | Starting at: $4,995
Oct 6, 2021 - Oct 14, 2021

From Barcelona to Rome Aboard the Le Jacques Cartier
Tour Details ››