Posted by: Bob Fisher | May 20, 2009

Whistle While You Work; Think While You Travel

Intrepid travelling

It’s not always about “Where’s the beach?” nor travelling up the Amazon in a dugout canoe. In-depth and content-rich travel also doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to major existentialist angst.

Intrepid travelling, however, can be mindful and metaphysical. For those who like their travel engaging, conceptual, and intensely contextual, the following media release I received this year is an example of what is waiting “out there” in the world of travel that may just be your cup of tea.

CONTEXT ANNOUNCES SPRING/SUMMER 2009
“OUT OF CONTEXT” SCHEDULE

Critically-acclaimed series of site visits and other events connects travelers with unusual experiences in New York, London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Naples, and Venice.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Paul Bennett, +1 800-691-6036, or paul@contexttravel.com

Philadelphia. January 6, 2009 — Context Travel announces the spring schedule of its critically-acclaimed Out of Context series. Designed to give travelers a deeper experience than a simple tour, the series pairs scholars from the Context network with unique travel opportunities including specially curated events, visits to museums and monuments normally closed to the public or outside of opening hours, and thematic walks that provide unparalleled ways to learn about some of the great cities of the world. The spring/summer 2009 series will be operating in New York, London, Rome, Paris, Florence, Naples, and Venice.

“The Out of Context series has ballooned into a significant part of our yearly program,” says Context co-founder Paul Bennett. “I know of no other tour operator or walking tour organization that puts together these kinds of events. I mean to get into a place like the Bargello, which was a medieval prison, after hours for a lecture on torture and punishment in the Renaissance or to tour the Explorers Club in New York with a member… These things really speak to what we’re trying to accomplish in the field of travel.”

Highlights of the spring season include: an afterhours visit to the Bargello in Florence (a former prison and now major sculpture museum) with Dr. Allie Terry, an expert in Renaissance art and criminology who will discuss the role of prisons and torture in the 1400s; a walk of Naples’ catacombs and churches with art historian Dr. Maria Laura Chiacchio who will discuss the Neapolitan Cult of the Dead; a behind-the-scenes tour of the famed Explorer’s Club in New York with archaeologist and club member Sarah Yeomans; and by-appointment visits outside of normal operating hours at the Vasari Corridor in Florence, the Vatican Museums in Rome, and the Basilica San Marco in Venice.

This year, for the first time, Context will be organizing an Out of Context event just for kids: a workshop on mythology at the Villa Farnesina in Rome. Opening the villa by request after hours, Context docent and museum educator Linda Nolan will lead the group through a series of activities, using the works of Raphael and other Renaissance artists as a backdrop.

The full schedule follows:

Apr-17-09 ROME: A special visit to the Renaissance church of SS. Trinita dei Pellegrini, housing works by Guido Reni, led by Latinist and church member Gregory di Pippo and art historian Elizabeth Lev

Apr-20-09 VENICE: Basilica San Marco after hours (by special permission), led by art historian Monica Vidoni

Apr-22-09 ROME: the Vatican Museums after hours (by special permission)

Apr-23-09 PARIS: Kandisky Retrospective with art historian David Lewis at the Pompidou

May-08-09 VENICE: Ecology of Venice thematic seminar led by ecologist Luca Zaggia

May-11-09 ROME: the Vatican Museums after hours (by special permission)

May-13-09 PARIS: the Musée de Nissim de Camondo with art historian Susan Taylor Leduc

May-15-09 LONDON: Gastroart – Borough Market and gastronomic art at the Tate, a thematic seminar led by culinary historian Janine Catalano

May-16-09 NEW YORK: Explorers Club with archaeologist Sarah Yeomans

May-19-09 VENICE: Basilica San Marco after hours (by special permission), led by art historian Francesca Frulla

May-27-09 PARIS: Musée de Nissime de Camondo with art historian Susan Tayler Leduc

May-28-09 ROME: Palazzo Farnese by appointment with art historian Frank Dabell

Jun-05-09 VENICE: Rubelli factory by appointment with textile scholar Isabella Campagnol

Jun-06-09 LONDON: Gastroart – Borough Market and gastronomic art at the Tate, a thematic seminar led by culinary historian Janine Catalano

Jun-08-09 ROME: Underground archaeology with urban speleologist Katie Parla

Jun-18-09 PARIS: Kandisky Retrospective with art historian David Lewis at the Pompidou

Jun-22-09 ROME: the Vatican Museums after hours (by special permission)

Jun-26-09 NAPLES: Communing with the Beyond, a seminar on the Neapolitan Cult of the Dead with art historian Dr. Maria Laura Chiacchio

Jun-26-09 ROME: a mythological wedding after hours at the Villa Farnesina, for kids and their lucky parents, with museum educator Linda Nolan

Jun-30-09 FLORENCE: Bargello after hours, Crime and Punishment in Renaissance Florence, with art historian Dr. Allie Terry

Jul-02-09 NAPLES: Contemporary Art at the Edge of Europe, a survey of the art scene in Naples, with Fiorella Squillante

Jul-08-09 FLORENCE: Restoration in Florence, current projects of the Friends of Florence

Jul-15-09 FLORENCE: Vasari Corridor by appointment

Jul-18-09 FLORENCE: images of the Last Supper with art historian Lucia Montuschi

The Out of Context series was originally launched in the spring of 2006 as an extension of Context’s sustainable tourism initiative with the idea that these events provide a kind of counterweight to the drive-by mass tourism that is so altering the character of European cities. Context’s sustainable tourism initiative has been featured in the International Herald Tribune and on MSN.

More information about the Out of Context series, from late March until July, 2009, is posted on the Context website at:

http://www.contexttravel.com/main/product/outofcontext.php

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