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  • Writer's pictureDEAN NELSON (he/him) CRDE, LLD

Gay Tuscany Tours

Tour 1: The Queer Medici - Aspects of homosexuality at the Pitti Palace

Discover the hidden queer history of the Medici family on our Queer Medici tour, exploring their influence on Florence's LGBTQ+ community from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Delve into the unconventional tastes of figures like Cosimo the Elder and Lorenzo the Magnificent, who defied societal norms by commissioning scandalous works of art and embracing progressive attitudes toward sexuality.


Beginning at Palazzo Medici, we'll trace the rise to power of the Medici family and their connections to religion, politics, and classical culture. Journey through the streets of Florence, from the San Lorenzo district to Piazza della Signoria, uncovering episodes that illuminate the Medici's complex relationship with queer individuals and their adversaries.


Crossing Ponte Vecchio, we'll arrive at the opulent Pitti Palace, the Medici's grand residence, to explore their patronage of art and culture. Admire masterpieces by renowned artists like Caravaggio and Titian, while hearing tales of the Medici's private lives and their connections to LGBTQ+ figures such as Gian Gastone de’ Medici and Ferdinand II.


Our tour concludes in the tranquil Boboli Gardens, where the Medici indulged in clandestine love affairs amidst statues and fountains. Experience the intimate stories of love and scandal that shaped the Medici dynasty, offering a fresh perspective on their illustrious history.

Join us as we unravel the Queer Medici tour, shedding light on a lesser-known aspect of Florence's iconic rulers and their enduring legacy in LGBTQ+ history.


WHAT WE WILL DO TOGETHER:

  • We will start from the Medici Palace and we will cross the places of power of the Medici family to arrive at Pitti Palace.

  • We will tell you about the origins of the Medici family, the causes of their fortune and their relationship with Renaissance artists, intellectuals and personalities such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli, and many others.

  • We will visit the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens together, selecting the most significant masterpieces in the museums.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION:

IMPORTANT: The tour is private! Choose the most convenient time and day.

TIMETABLES: The tour is available every day except Mondays.

ACCESS: The price of the tour does not include the entrance fee to the museum. Tickets are always charged to the customer. We will make the reservations for you in order to guarantee a speedy entrance!


Tour 2: Painting the Uffizi Queer

Experience the Queer Uffizi tour, tailored to meet the rising demand for captivating LGBTQ+ narratives intertwined with the Italian Art masterpieces. Delve into the intriguing questions surrounding the relationships between Florentine workshop masters and their apprentices, the portrayal of gender in Renaissance art, and the defiance of religious constraints to embrace sexual identity.


The Uffizi Gallery's rich history dates back to 1560 when Cosimo de’ Medici demolished the Whore Quarter to erect the Florentine Magistrates’ Palace, later transformed into Europe's first private museum by his sons, Francesco and Ferdinando. Amidst sensational frescoes celebrating the Medici lineage and alchemical rooms adorned with exotic artifacts, the Uffizi amassed the world's most renowned art collection, captivating countless visitors annually.

Our tour spotlights the overlooked queer narratives within Uffizi masterpieces, aligning with recent research on Renaissance painters' lives and gender dynamics. Explore how Platonic love influenced both personal relationships and artistic expression, uncovering the public and private lives of emerging artists navigating homosexuality amidst societal norms.

Discover why Sandro Botticelli encoded allegorical defenses against sodomy accusations in his works, grasp the Renaissance concept of "androgyny," and delve into the inner turmoil of renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio. Hear the stories of trailblazing women painters like Artemisia Gentileschi, who defied male judgment to pursue their art.


This meticulously researched itinerary transcends traditional tours, offering historical context alongside the most transgressive elements of the Florentine Renaissance—a testament to personal freedom and expression.


WHAT WE WILL DO TOGETHER

  • We will focus on the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery with special attention to the personal stories of the artists and their interpretation of love, sexuality and mythology.

  • We will tell you about the queer context of Renaissance Florence and how painting was linked to this moment of great individual pride.

  • We will show you paintings not usually included in traditional tourist itineraries.

  • We will add new meanings and interpretations to the famous masterpieces of the artistic canon.

INFORMAZIONI PRATICHE

IMPORTANT: The tour is private! Choose the most convenient time and day.

TIMETABLES: The tour is available every day except Mondays.

ACCESS: The price of the tour does not include the entrance fee to the museum. Tickets are always charged to the customer. We will make the reservations for you in order to guarantee a speedy entrance!


Tour 3: 2-Hour Gay History of Florence Tour

Explore Florence's rich history of queer identity on this thematic itinerary, tracing the origins of a vibrant subculture that thrived amidst accusations of depravity. Discover how Florence, known for its humanist legacy, also became a hub for what was termed "Florentine vice" – a euphemism for sodomy – which fueled artistic expression and philosophical discourse.

Beginning at Piazza Santa Croce, delve into the heart of Florence's gay nightlife and the defiance against societal norms led by figures like the Franciscan friar Bernardino of Siena. Explore how the queer community carved out spaces of resistance within the city, defying authorities and integrating into its socio-economic fabric with remarkable efficacy.

Visit sites frequented by anarchist lesbians who challenged laws by opening brothels, and learn about the Office of the Night, Europe's first magistracy dedicated solely to policing same-sex acts. Encounter tales of individuals who boldly flouted societal expectations, and unravel the often overlooked queer subtext within religious iconography and Greco-Roman mythology.

Join us on a journey through time and space to understand the evolving landscape of homosexuality in Florence, where the voices of renowned figures like Lorenzo the Magnificent and Michelangelo mingle with those of lesser-known trailblazers such as Sandrina, Sister Benedetta Carlini, and countless gender-fluid individuals who left an indelible mark on the city's history.


WHAT WE WILL DO TOGETHER

  • We will walk through the streets of the historic center of Florence from Santa Croce to Piazza della Signoria.

  • We will tell you the social practices and love stories of the queer community in Renaissance Florence.

  • You will learn about the history and events of the great gay protagonists of the Renaissance season and we will visit the places of ancient (and modern) sodomy, including taverns, crusing streets and the ancient gay center of the city.


Are you ready to go beyond? Book your Florence getaway today. Click here to set up a consultation or to book today.

departuresXdean - an independent agent with Personal Travel Mgmt BC Tour registration #2806, TICO #50025786 proud members of the IGLTA and the Ensemble Travel Group.


Where do you want to go? Click here to contact me.

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