Our Staff

Lani Summerville

Lani Summerville is founder and CEO of Classical Excursions. She has organized such architectural tours as “Eighteenth Century Sweden: The Golden Age of Gustavian Style”, “The World of Nancy Lancaster and John Fowler”, “John F. Staub’s Houston”, “Country Houses of Sir Edwin Lutyens”, “David Adler’s Classical Chicago”, “Palladio in Venice and the Veneto”, “A Grand Tour of Sicily”, “Berlin and Potsdam: From Rococo to Karl Friedrich Schinkel” and “Classical Italian Villas and Gardens: Following in the Footsteps of Edith Wharton.” Classical Excursion’s tours have been featured in such publications as Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, AD and Veranda.

Ms. Summerville has organized, escorted and guided specialty architectural tours for 24 years, working with Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation, The National Trust for Scotland, Olana Foundation, Berkshire Botanical Garden, Lenox Garden Club, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. She also organizes private tours, retreats and specialty events for individuals around the world. Lani has also worked within the preservation field as both a museum educator, and an archaeologist for such organizations as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Berkshire County Historical Society, and various other historic house museums. She has a M.A. in Classical Archeology and Art History from the University of Lund Sweden.

She collaborated with Dr. Johan Cederlund in 2006, on the book Classical Swedish Architecture & Interiors 1650-1840 and also founded the company Real Gustavian which specialized in 18th century Swedish furniture and decorative arts.

Chas Miller

Chas Miller has been associated with Classical Excursions since 2006, both as a client and a traveler. In 2022, he became a part-time consultant, and has recently been named Director of Traveler Services and Tour Director.  During his career, Chas has helped lead more than 70 trips, including to Argentina, Iran, and Russia, as well as to many countries in Europe and in US locations, and 15 tours of Cuba. Chas served for 15 years as Executive Director in New York for the US foundation supporting London’s Sir John Soane’s Museum, with previous tenures at Columbia University in the City of New York, the American Academy in Rome and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He currently serves on the National Advisory Committee of Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios, a program of the National Trust.  Chas resides in Rhode Island and is active locally with non-profit organizations, including serving on the Board of the Newport Art Museum and on committees of the Preservation Society of Newport County / Newport Mansions.

Olivia Cespedes

Olivia is Lani’s oldest daughter. She shares her mother’s passion for travel, having studied and lived in Sweden, Olivia is bilingual. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, and Asia and has joined the Classical Excursions team recently as executive assistant, handling administrative duties as well as assisting on tours and events.