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City Life – Context Travel Blog
Looking for the latest news and updates about city life from around the world? Check here for thoughts and updates about city life, from arts and culture, to public transportation, to making the most of city life around the world, from Rome to Rio. Frequent travelers should also check back for insider city guides and tips for visiting hotspots and urban favorites off the beaten path in over 40 cities, put together by local culture experts and journalists, as well as Context staff. From classics to cutting-edge contemporary, we provide an intellectually curious take on city life across the globe—or in your home city.
The Context vision is to create an atmosphere—a context, if you will—for curious travelers to engage with local experts; to give them access to places and cultures that might otherwise remain out of sight to the casual visitor; to invite them off the tourist track and into the real life of the people, history, and culture that makes these cultural capitals amazing. In other words, to travel deeper. Deep travel helps build cultural bridges that foster tolerance and understanding. But it doesn’t just change travelers. It changes places, too. Deep Travel connects locals with smart, curious outsiders, making the world a little smaller and a little more connected.
Late in the night on August 3, two Italian brothers in their thirties and from the Tuscan city of Empoli stumbled into Florenceâ€™s central square, Piazza Signoria, in a state of apparent drunkenness. Within minutes one of the brothers mounted…Read more
The covered passages, or arcades, of Paris are a kind of time machine, transporting us back to the bustling streetlife of the nineteenth century. With their maze-like alleys protected from the elements by glass roofs and hemmed in by cafe’s,…Read more
In the 1880s the composer Richard Wagner took a vacation from his job as court musician to “mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria and headed south to work on an operatic staging of the medieval poem Parsifal. In the poem,…Read more
Nestled into a picturesque valley in Umbria near Terni, the little town of Piediluco boasts one of the most interesting summer festivals in the region: a pagan rite celebrating the summer solstice that traces its roots back to ancient traditions….Read more
What do you get when you cross soccer, rugby and Renaissance costumes? Florence’s Calcio Storico, held every year the third week of June! Calcio Storico (Historic Soccer) is Florence’s answer to the more famous Palio horse race of Siena. Both…Read more
The Triduum Schedule at the Vatican The two weeks surrounding Easter are one of the busiest times of the year in Rome. Thousands—tens of thousands—of pilgrims arrive to see the city come alive with what amounts to the most important…Read more
This past month, nearly forty years after the destruction of Les Halles marketplace, Paris mayor Bertrand Delanöe announced David Mangin as the winning architect of Les Halles reconstruction project.The mayor’s decision follows months of public opinion polls that pitted Mangin’s…Read more
Paris is a city of constant evolution: as any return visitor can attest, the face of the Grand Dame never remains quite the same – in the course of mere days, as baguette-bearing Parisians move from one arrondissement to the…Read more
Qui se ipsum amat, in hunc locum venit This is what you’ll find written at the entrance of the Terme di Nerone Spa, in the Campi Flegrei east of Naples. The Latin inscription, which translates as “those who love themselves…Read more
In late 2003, the high-speed train company, TAV Spa, which for the last ten years (and certainly for the next ten as well) has been building a high-speed train network from Milan to Naples, announced that it had selected the…Read more
In 1997, when the transportation authority in Naples announced a tremendous new project to build nine lines of subterranean train tracks that would wind through downtown and connect all the sprawling suburbs of this…Read more