FIND A WALK
Most travelers are now traveling independently, rather than traveling in groups, but are missing the intellectual stimulation provided by top-notch group tours. Context fills that void perfectly.
Seeing London, Under Advisement
The secondmost useful bit of advice was from a representative of Context Travel, a service that provides scholars as guides. To take a tour with Context Travel is to take a virtual graduate seminar in architecture or art. Her advice was to go deep, to look at something we were familiar with, but to look at it carefully and for a long time.
Akhil Sharma- The Daily Beast and Newsweek-November 2012
With its scholar-led walking tours of the world's cultural capitals, Context Travel might not be top of mind when making all the arrangements for a family client's trip to Europe, but think again. Context Travel knows what it's doing with its Family Programs.
Wall Street Journal
The Best in...Destinations
Personal Guides Travelers are growing increasingly comfortable with the idea of hiring personal tour guides. These people often specialize in subjects—art, history, food—that can help enrich a visit to a new destination. Among the best providers: Context Travel.
Highly Rated Tour Groups for Rome
These tours are for the intellectually curious, who prefer in-depth three- to four-hour alternatives to conventional walking and bus tours. Context keeps the tours intimate, with maximum group sizes of no more than six people. As a complement to the art and history, tours also include excursions to investigate the city’s culinary delights that date back to Roman times. These tours, led by a food writer or chef, examine Rome’s food traditions, including its coffees, pizzas, ice creams and chocolates. Even the fried snacks of the Jewish Ghetto get attention.
Arthur Frommer Online
A highlight of her stay was a walking tour of the Tuileries Gardens conducted by the impressive, Europe-wide (many cities) Context Travel, whose highly-intellectual walking tours are led by Ph.D.-level guides and deal with profound subjects of cultural and historical importance
AD Travels- Getting Around IstanbulMarch 2012
For a quick introduction to the city, book a private walking tour with Context Travel. The company hires local docents with expertise that matches your interests, from ancient history to contemporary design.
Currents, Sunday March 5, 2012
Learn more about the great 19th-century writer and celebrate his 200th birthday year on a new walking tour called “Charles Dickens: Storyteller of Victorian London.’’ Literary specialists and historians take groups of up to six people to sections of the city that were closely connected to the author, his life, and his works.
Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist 2011
For the second year in a row, Conde Nast Traveler has named us as a Top Travel Specialist. We are recognized for our exceptional walking seminars that go above and beyond what any guidebook could offer.
Gift Guide 2011: A small, savvy walking tour.
While large groups adopt a mobbed, cookie cutter approach, private tours can cost a fortune. Context travel seeks a middle ground, letting you split the cost of a tour with only a handful of other travellers. Taking a half-day tour with a guide from Context Travel is like having a conversation with a working practitioner in design, art or a similar field
Ultimate Family Cultural Experience
Intellectually curious travellers of all ages will appreciate the enlightening experience of an interactive family walking “seminar” designed by Context Travel, a network of scholars, museum educators and specialists, uniquely equipped to bring a city’s rich history to life.
Designed to engage children and their parents with the area’s culture and heritage, the fun and informative walks are led by docents trained in Visual Thinking Strategies and inquiry-based learning. From locales including the United States to Europe, there are nine different available family outings, all of which include a special activity, such as a treasure hunt, game or painting project.
—Christie Judson, Oct 18, 2011
Where to go in November
One place we guarantee you won't be jostled by fellow tourists is on Context Travel's new tour. The company specialises in small, group walks led by architects, historians, art historians and other brainy guides. Its latest offering in the city is an obscure but fascinating tour along the Old Croton Aqueduct, the city's first municipal water supply and "a milestone in the urban development and history of the city". Led by a history expert, the three-hour tour takes you along several miles of the structure, even tracing evidence of it in Manhattan.
October 14, 2011
Away from the queues, the madding crowds and the restaurant menus printed in six different languages, there is a slice of Florence Italy's artisans call home.
—Shaney Hudson, Oct 2011
Going Places - Jewish London
The walks are more like ambulatory seminars than standard tours, and are aimed at people who want to actively learn something rather than just see the sights.
-Daniel Drolet, October 2011
The Pulse- September Issue
“Context Travel's Rome Shopping and Artisans tour takes in the history of artisans whose crafts date back to the 1st Century. Their shopping mavens know the fashion stores inside out and can show you where to go while putting a historical spon on your shopping spree
Context Travel makes the Inc. 500I5000 list of fastest growing companies in America.
Gatekeepers of the spectacular
Context Travel, which bills itself as the scholarly tour company, refers to them as “docents” – a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who provide “walking seminars" in 15 world cities.
— Sophie Roberts, August 6 2011
Condé Nast Traveler
The Informer- Cruise Special
"My sister, her husband, and their three sons toured the Vatican with a private docent provided by Context Travel. The guide had reserved their entrance for 12:30pm, allowing them to bypass lines, and was masterful at keeping the family happily engaged."
-Condé Nast Traveler - August 2011
The Sydney Morning Herald- Traveller
Rhythms of the outer reaches
Next, Luca offers us the option of heading into the remote northern lagoon to a place called Bone Island, or Sant'Ariano. Originally a monastery, the island became an ossuary for dumping bones during the 16th century as the Black Death hit; first in 1575 and again in 1630, when Venice lost a quarter of its population to the plague.
—Shaney Hudson, July 24, 2011
Scottsman - The Pulse
“If you have ever visited a city rich in culture and yearned for your very own guide to interpret it for you, then yearn no longer. Context Travel offers scholar-led walking seminars..
— Jools Stone, July 7, 2011
The Sunday Times - Travel
A drink with your history lesson, sir?
A new walking tour of Manhattan's bars tells the potent story of the cocktail, glass by glass.
— Martin Hemming, July 3, 2011
Paris a la Thomas Jefferson offered in new July walking tour
These arts shine brightly in the three-hour “A Walk with Thomas Jefferson” tour by Context Travel, which includes the Louvre, the Hôtel de la Marine at Place de la Concorde, the Palais Royal, and other spots he was “violently smitten with”, according to another letter.
— Marsha Dubrow, June 28, 2011
Sydney Morning Herald
“...Unlike most areas of central Florence, it's a neighbourhood still dominated by locals. We pass university students eating pizza in the sun on the steps of Santo Spirito church, a man in a wheelchair chatting with his elderly neighbour at the window of a fourth-floor apartment and a child riding his bike. Each time we pass a workshop, artisans wave and greet Luca by name
—Shaney Hudson,June 12, 2011
TRAVEL + LEISURE
The Virtues of a Tour Guide
“…Seeing Rome on my own and then with Dabell was like the difference between scanning a piece of sheet music and hearing a choir sing it aloud. Suddenly the arc of the melody, the grace of the counterpoint, the thrust of the lyric all become clear. When I told Dabell this, he humbly demurred. “Sometimes you just have to step out of the way and let the art sing for itself,” he said as we gazed into Vigevano’s mournful eyes. “This is something we never make the time to do—just to stop, and look, without speaking.” And so we did.
— Peter Jon Lindberg, May, 2011
GOURMET TRAVELLER AUSTRALIA
“Savouring Rome is just one food tour led by chefs and food writers for Context Travel. The three-hour tour starts in the Jewish ghetto where you try artichokes fried in the traditional style or gently poached alla Romana. Eat pizza rossa at the lively Roscioli forno, toss down an espresso at the famous Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè and sample a rose-flavoured gelato at Cremeria Monteforte gelateria next to the Pantheon. Groups are limited to six and guides offer cooking tips and insights into the cultural significance of Roman specialties.
—Josephine Mckenna, April 29, 2011
In Search of Rome's Holy Trinity: Pizza, Coffee, and Gelato
In two days we took one introductory two-hour "Orientation" walk and two three-hour Context tours, and I would very happily have taken more. The intimacy and ease of movement is that of a private tour, but the group tours, limited to six people, have the same feel and cost considerably less.
—Corby Kummer, March 11, 2011
Explore Cities in a New Context
TravelAge West recently spoke to Bennett to discuss his company's unique approach to touring new cities.
— Feb 28, 2011
AiresLibre interview with the entire Context staff
Travel agent Raquel Segura of AiresLibre interviewed Paul Bennett and the entire Context staff during their annual retreat to discuss our innovative approach to travel and the new walks (and cities) we're introducing in 2011.
February 9, 2011
TRAVEL + LEISURE -Ask T+L
The bespoke itineraries from Context Travel (www.contexttravel.com from $85) are led by scholars in cities including Florence and Istanbul. On the three-hour Underground Rome trip, an archaeologist takes you to sites below street level, such as the subterranean area of San Nicola in Carcere, built over three republican-era temples on busy Via del Teatro Marcello.
Read the full article
The Guardian - Travel Section
Private tours are a great way to enjoy tourist hotspots, such as Rome's Sistine Chapel and the Vasari Corridor in Florence, without the crowds
“…Context Travel will arrange a personal tour led by an art historian
" — Carolyn Lyons, Jan 14, 2011
Where Traveler Boston
Context Tours'new Big Dig Boston Architecture Walking Tour is a three-hour exploration of the city's former Central Artery. What you won't hear:sordid details about the infamous 20-year urban engineering project. Instead, traverse the Financial District with a group of six and examine the physical evolutionof Boston since the 17th-century, though building architecture and historical cartography.
USA Today, Travel Tips
Tours in Naples, Italy
Feed your intellectual curiosity with tours that take you deeper while still giving a comprehensive idea of all that Naples offers. Art historians and scholars lead Context Travel tours, and they design aspects of your chosen itinerary based on your interests.
Sydney Morning Herald
London: more than meets the Eye
Led by scholars, PhD-level professors and experts, Context Tours runs intellectually minded tours focusing on archaeology, history and culture. Groups are no bigger than five people. Tours run for at least 2½ hours and include an introduction to London architecture, gastronomic London and a session at the British Museum.
Read the full article
Conde Nast Traveler
Founder, Paul Bennett has been selected as a Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist for 2010.
USA TODAY TRAVEL-TRAVEL TIPS
Cooking schools in Rome
Context Travel service offers "the experience of place" through walking tours conducted by art historians, architects, historians and, in the case of culinary walks, food and wine experts. Rome culinary walks include a variety of experiences from a half day session in the kitchen of a Roman chef; a walk through historic neighborhoods on an exploration of Roman street food; or a guided stroll through Testaccio food market.
Gran Tourismo Travels
Gran Tourismo meets Paul and Lani, founders of Context
"We wanted to see if walking tours such as those offered by Context could be a way for people to kick-start a longer stay in a city, help them hit the ground running, quickly get to grips with a place, inspire their curiosity and encourage them to dig deeper."
-Lara Dunston, August 8, 2010
The Wall Street Journal
Ten Great Trips You've Probably Never Heard Of
Context Travel, based in Philadelphia, offers three-hour scholarly "walking seminars" in New York. Well established in Europe, Context's walking tours are relatively new to the U.S. In recent months, the firm has introduced tours, led mainly by academics, in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington.
—Anne Tergesen, May 15, 2010
The New York Times — InTransit Blog
Chefs Lead New Rome Walking Tours
Savoring Rome stops by traditional bakeries, cafes and gelateries, particularly in the maze of side streets around the Pantheon, said the statement last week. Wines of Italy, A Comparative Tasting is led by a sommelier.
—Joyce Lau, April 5, 2010
The New York Times — T Magazine
Eco-Tripping | ROME
The savvy trip operator Context now offers ‘‘farm to fork’’ tours of Rome — a multiday experience focused on sustainable food.
— March 25, 2010
Town & Country
Istanbul: An Insider's Guide
“Context Travel conducts some of the most interesting walking tours, led by art historians and architects, among others. Guides take groups of up to six people on scheduled thematic trips (architecture, shopping, cuisine, theology), ...
— April 2010
TRAVEL + LEISURE
La Dolce Vita: Gelato Tours
“...For anyone interested in joining him, the author of the ice cream bible The Perfect Scoop will lead an Out of Context three-hour guided tour to the eternal city’s best gelato and granita ($86/person)...Context Travel will also host Lebovitz’s book signing in the 17th century Palazzo Santacroce on June 5th.
—Tina Isaac, April 24, 2010
The New York Times — T Magazine
The Concierge | Paris for Lovers
“…be it 19th-century painting or chocolate, try a guided tour with Context Travel, a smart outfit with small groups. (You can also hire it for private tours.)
— Christine Muhlke, March 11, 2010
Paradizo- Inspiration for the discerning traveler
Ultimate New York City Tour: Sightseeing and Cuisine in New York
With some of the best planned New York walking tours available, Context isn’t just anothersightseeing tour. Referring to its private tours as “walking seminars,” Context aims to provide a “narrative experience” for small groups eager to discover the character of the city. Led by accomplished scholars in their field, each private tour “docent” aims to connect the traveler and the city.
Paradizo, June 8, 2010
Context New York
With 15 docents and 20 walks, New York walks are popping. See everything we have happening in New York.
Check out our new gastronomy walks in Rome.
Town + Country loves our Istanbul walks
Half Day Pompeii
Despite having an illustrious history as an Oscan, Samnite and Roman settlement, Pompeii's best-known incarnation is, ironically, that of a buried cit...Read More
Who leads your walks?
Our docents are scholars and specialists in a variety of fields including art history, archaeology, cuisine, architecture, history, and theology. Many...>Read More