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Our Difference

Context is a network of scholars and specialists whose aim is to invite travelers off the tourist track and into the real life of the people, history, and culture of the world's greatest cities.

While over 80% of our guides have MA or PhD-level degrees in their fields of expertise, we live by the rule that learning isn't a finite activity. We're inquisitive about the places and people around us. We're inspired by conversations ripe with new perspectives and oft-untold stories. We don't play loose with the facts. Ours is the intellectual seeker's approach to the world: both in life and in work, we thrill at the potent possibility of "yet".

At day's end—we believe that travel is the ultimate form of education, one best served with a heaping side of meaningful interaction and memorable conversation.

A Context expert guide leading a garden tour

Curiosity is Key ...

... and that's been true since the beginning. Context was founded in 2003 by Paul Bennett and Lani Bevacqua, a husband and wife who landed in Rome after over two years spent sailing across the Atlantic. 

Once in Rome, Paul and Lani fell in with an eclectic group of professors and specialists—architects, native Romans, researchers, writers, archaeologists—and formed Context as a means to connect those experts with travelers yearning for an in-depth understanding of the city.

Now, 15-plus years and over 150,000 tours later, we've grown from a single-city operation to a group of scholars, nerds, and curious travelers spanning over 60 cities across 6 continents. (Someone once called us "affable weirdos," which may be the nicest compliment we've gotten, ever). Just about the only thing that hasn't changed is our passion for ideas and sharing knowledge. 


Context staff group photo outside in front of a lake on a retreat

In Context 

We're immensely proud to have been a Certified B Corp since 2011, and we run our business with the understanding that travel should make us defenders of a place, not a means of its deterioration. We know that—done sustainably—travel can profoundly benefit both the visitor and the visited. 

In sum: we aim to live up to our name. To give something "Context" is to connect the dots between eras, geographies, and cultures. It's to weave us all together as part of a larger, shared narrative. 

So, for travelers finding themselves intrigued by how the Baroque rivalry of Bernini and Borromini shaped our modern conception of genius; amblers angling to get a grip on the Haussmannian evolution of Paris and its lasting legacy on the field of city planning; savorers keen to (literally) dig into the cultural underpinnings that make Singaporean street food just so sensational:  

Welcome. We're delighted to meet you. 


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We’re always looking for lifelong learners to join our team.

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Context employees at a local cafe in Lisbon while on a work retreat