JULIUS CAESAR : From the Republic to
the Empire :
It all worked. Loved our guide Jose and the
sensitive and informed way he approached
the tour and the subject of Caesar's rise to
power and its consequence in Roman
history and in its archictecture. I would
highly recommend this tour to all.
* * *
Jose began our tour by giving us a single
piece of paper that summarized the history
of Rome! This timeline was particularly
valuable as we toured various sites and
Jose could refer to this timeline. Bravo,
Jose! We thoroughly enjoyed this tour.
Jose is both knowledgeable and engaging.
* * *
Jose was great. He certainly went well
above and beyond when he appeared at our
hotel with the book Michael wanted to buy
and would not let me pay him for it.....so
he spent his tip on the book which was
exceptional....actually, we really wanted to
pay him for the book.
The First Christian Basilica of SAN
GIOVANNI in LATERANO and the story
of Emperor Constantine:
This tour was excellent for us and Jose
was informative, stimulating, and a very
congenial man. We had visited the church
on our own a few years back but now
realize how little we understood without
the background and, no pun intended,
context that Jose gave us about the
Church's place in the early years. His
obvious love of the many dimensions of
Rome is contagious.
* * *
This was one of the top tours for me
personally as a devout Catholic who
wanted to see as much theological history
as possible. By the time we took the tour
(14th at this point) we were becoming very
knowledgable and familiar with much of
the history. Jose was a fantastic docent
and certainly one of our favorites - we
would seek him out again. Among all the
guides, he mixed history with philosophy,
and showed us his tour prep advance
reading and notes, clearly indicating he
researched the aspects of the tour he
would conduct. That was just amazing and
demonstrated an unexpected commitment.
For me, the fact that we were again just
the 3 of us, allowed some customization
that made the trip for me - finishing with a
few minutes to spare, we went to Santa
Croce of Jerusalem and we got to saw
relics of the crucifixion that I didn't know
existed - much less in this off-the-beaten
path church. The other thing I liked about
Jose's style was that he didn't care if we
ran over - both tours were 3.5 hours; at
the end he went with us part way on our
first metro ride to another site we wanted
to see on our own - that was a big help to
navigate through initially.
* * *
Jose was excellent. I really appreciated that
he asked us in the beginning what we
expected from the experience.
The MERIDIAN inside Santa Maria degli
Angeli Basilica: "Astrology" in the Church:
Can I also please express my sincere and
deepest gratitude for engaging with us on
the day but also for being that
FANTASTIC that my wife recognized
you after two years because of the
impression you had made on her and our
daughter. Also thank you for being able
to remember her and for being so
passionate about your interests and
sharing this knowledge in a most open
and engaging manner.
ANCIENT ROME: An Introduction for
We took 6 tours in Paris and Rome, four
with (Name of Company). My 10-year-old
grandaughter and the two of us continually
rated each tour and guide, developing more
extensive evaluation criteria as we
proceeded. Our tour guide for the Ancient
Rome experience, Jose, evolved into the
gold standard. HE was prepared, including
a personal timeline he sketched for our
grandaughter, knew her interest in
mythology and Greek history, and designed
the most engaging tour for her. It was
* * *
Jose was great - well prepared,
enthusiastic, engaging, pitched the tour at
the right level. He brought to life many
smaller interesting details and we loved the
way he used sketches to illustrate his
* * *
On behalf of my wife and myself, I wanted
to thank ...(you)... for two wonderful and
informative walking tours- one in Rome
and one in Venice. They were both
excellent and each guide was so
knowledgeable.Our guide in Rome was
Jose Grave de Paralta and in Venice,
(another guide). You are lucky to have
such wonderful docents. Please pass along
our sincere thanks to both of them.They
have both been the true highlight of our trip
Thank you .
Very happy customers!!
UNDERGROUND ROME :
We found the Basilica of San Clemente,
our first visit, either closed or running a
long mass but it did not affect the overall
tour as Jose Grave de Peralta was on the
ball and a great docent all around. His
gentle manner and clarity in explaining
complicated archaeology and historical
connections were much appreciated. We
also appreciated his world view of breadth
and interconnection (and his capability in
expressing it). I was also impressed that he
always responded thoughtfully to questions
by making extemporaneous, truly profound
and relevant connections from even
FORO BOARIO: The Myths of
HERCULES and the First Market and Port
Jose was great at engaging the kids We
would recommend him as a guide to
anyone! We wish that we had scheduled
our other tours with Context tours.
* * *
What a balance of art, history, archeology.
Jose is a treasure.
A tour is a bit like a piece of performance
art. You cannot guarantee that everything
is covered but the experience should be
agreeable and enlightening. Our Docent
was wonderful in this respect. I cannot
imagine a better more enjoyable tour.
THE POPES of ROME AND THEIR
ROLE in the RENAISSANCE:
We thoroughly enjoyed this walk. Not only
did we learn the significance and history of
many sites we had previously walked right
by, Jose also made a point of connecting
this history to what else was going on in
art, architecture and literature a this time.
We ended up going back to see the
Barracco Museo, the baths of Caracalla,
and the Cleopatra exhibit at the Maria della
Pace -- all things we saw or were
mentioned during our walk -- rounding out
our itinerary for the week. I am never the
most educated or well versed person on
your walks and I appreciate the your
docents always make me feel welcome and
can speak to the subjects on many levels.
Custom Holiday Walk: The Tradition of
Italian Nativities (Preseppe) :
This walk was very different from the
others in terms of pace (a bit slower) and
even subject matter, and we liked it very
much. Jose was super-personable, and had
clearly done his homework in putting
together the agenda for the walk and
showed us some neat things, though we
appreciated his willingness to be flexible,
too. Family members particularly enjoyed
the chats between the sights; the stroll
through the Monti neighborhood was nice,
too. Would be pleased to work with him
TIVOLI: HADRIAN'S VILLA and Villa
Excellent tour. Jose was very
knowledgeable, easy to talk to, answered
all questions. We were very pleased with
* * *
We enjoyed both sites, though perhaps the
Hadian's Villa portion was a bit long for
kids more complex for the children.
Nonetheless in the course of our vacation
we realized that the information and ideas
that Jose shared helped us and I noticed
that the kids retained that info when we
visited Ostia Antica and "Ancient" Rome
later in the week. I would definitely
recommend this tour for families, as it has
a bit of the old and then the newer, and the
kids found the fountains and statuary
engaging. My mother and I also enjoyed
the fountains. Jose was both
knowledgeable and patient with our
questions and pace. He was a pleasant
companion and an interesting
THE VATICAN MUSEUM and St. Peter's Basilica:
Jose was fantastically knowledgeable. Any tour guide can memorize an interesting set of facts and stories for a
pre-set tour, but Jose's expertise allows him to provide meaningful answers for any questions we had. The small tour
group also worked fantastically. It allowed us to do without the problematic little transmitters that other tour groups
use, as well as encourage us to feel comfortable asking questions. Also, reviewing the panels of the Sistine Chapel,
in a quiet and separate area, prior to entering was brilliant.
* * *
I would like to let you know that my family was extremely pleased with the July 5, 2012 Vatican tour given to us by
Jose. Jose truly listened and answered our questions and helped us to understand the Vatican art from a historical
perspective. I would recommend this tour to others. We took many tours in Italy and Jose was our favorite tour guide.
* * *
We could not have asked for a more charming and knowledgeable docent. Every question was answered with an
unexpected depth of knowledge. The pace and order of the tour was perfect allowing time, when appropriate, to fully
appreciate what we were seeing. I fail to see what could be added to make this a better tour, save a personal
audience with the Pope. Great job! Keep up the good work.
* * *
Jose was wonderful! the amount of knowledge he was able to transfer to us in such a short time was truly amazing.
We have already recommended your organization to others and will continue to do so. We couldnt have had a
better guide. Thank you for making this part of our trip a great success.
* * *
Everything was perfect! Jose Peralta was an extremely pleasant person and very informative. He took his time and
never seemed rushed although we must have been surrounded by hundreds of people at all times. My husband and
I specifically requested to see the Borgia Pope's Apartments during our trip and it was obvious he invested
additional time in that part of the tour. It was my lifetime dream to go to the Vatican, and Jose made it unforgettable.
If we do future tours, we will be sure to request Mr. Peralta. Please tell him how wonderful he made our day for us. It
was one of the best days of my life! THANK YOU!
* * *
Our docent, Jose Peralta, was truly exceptional. Jose understands the Vatican Museum, but, just as importantly, he
presents a holistic picture that brings together the art with the politics and culture represented by the Vatican. Truly
a great event for us. Jose was very articulate in his presentation and great person with whom to spend 4 hours. I
can't possibly overemphasize how excellent Jose is as a docent for the Vatican.
* * *
We enjoyed the tour so much. To be able to get a guided tour of the Vatican in a small group was fantastic. We
were very impressed with Jose's knowledge and manner. We would highly recommend Context and Jose in the
future. Thanks so much.
* * *
Jose was exceptional. There was nothing that he could have done better. He tailored the tour to fit with the needs of
our group- my in-laws were not familiar with a lot of Christian stories, and he was able to fill in the gaps with a brief
summary of who the figures were. He highlighted a diverse assembly of works from different timeframes and also
gave my family an education of art history from the beginnings of idol related works through to Matisse so they
understand things in context and how art had grown through the centuries. All through the tour he described things
with an obvious passion and love for the subject that kept everyone involved right up until the end of the tour. He
had wonderful insights and actually kept walking us through things even after our time for the tour had expired.
Because of his amazing ability to teach and communicate so clearly, we were able to recognize certain things when
we visited the Scavi of St. Peter's the next day- things that no one else on the tour had any knowledge of. This was
the best tour that any of us had ever taken in our lives.
* * *
Jose took the time to explain details that we would miss Great respect for surroundings and client needs.
* * *
We would have been lost without Jose -- from how to enter the building to what to see once we got there. On a
practical level Jose took the stress out of everything by knowing what to show us, explaining what we were seeing,
and since he wasn't mom or dad--the kids didn't complain about anything! On an intellectual and artistic level Jose
was fabulous. He trained our eye to understand what we were seeing in terms of how art changed and evolved over
the centuries. He explained why the Vatican would have chosen some of the pieces that were from the pre-christian
times, background on the Sistine Chapel, the architecture, etc. Even after our visit to the Vatican--I was reminded of
observations that Jose taught us throughout the rest of our trip to Italy. He is a strong and personable teacher.
Also--when he realized that our family has a strong connection to Roman myths--he included that into our tour. We
enjoyed Jose as our docent a great deal and enjoyed spending time with him.
Showing Professor Amalia Veitia's class
the sites of Puccini's Opera TOSCA....Here
atop Castell Sant Angelo
A rainy but exhilirating EASTER SUNDAY
walk with ladies from Saint Louis, Missouri