Siena and San Gimignano

Discovering homosexuality in the Middle Ages

Tour Price: from 350,00  (for groups up to 5 pax)

For individual tours or more than 5 pax, request a quote

Duration of the tour: approximately 8 hours

Transportation not included: for quotes, click here

Museums: Optional

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Description

Siena and San Gimignano are two unmissable destinations for anyone staying in Tuscany as they are easily accessible from Florence and offer breathtaking views as well as a wide range of unique works of art, buildings and traditional shops. We believe that Siena and San Gimignano are more than just popular tourist spots! These two fiercely independent city states were also the home of famous gay and lesbian people who took advantage of the narrow Medieval streets to carry on their businesses and create a network of love relationships. This is why Queer Tuscany Tours has decided to come up with an unprecedented journey to discover homosexuality in the communal era of Siena and San Gimignano.

In this new and unmissable tour you will learn to look at the history of Medieval art through the point of view of the LGBTQ+ community who lived and worked here over the centuries. One of the greatest personalities from this region is the painter Giovan Antonio Bazzi, known as “il Sodoma”, who certainly made no secret of his homosexuality! In San Gimignano we will admire one of his public Seated Madonnas, while in Siena we will have the opportunity to talk about his life and career as well as what he did to shock his fellow citizens.

Among the towers of San Gimignano, famous for being “the Manhattan of the Middle Ages“, we will talk about the rich and powerful families of merchants who often indulged in lewd behavior that shocked the community. Don’t think all queers lived in the shadow of religious repression: Tuscany allowed a degree of expression that infuriated preachers and monks, such as the infamous Bernardino of Siena who railed against the lust of his people and invoked the flames of hell! Here, we will also reveal the secrets of an ancient temple dedicated to the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem, who were tried for their libidinous behavior in front of the implacable Catholic Inquisition!

After San Gimignano, we will move towards Siena, possibly the brightest and most pristine jewel of the entire Tuscan region. Among suggestive squares, narrow alleys and sumptuous churches enriched by the greatest artists of the past, you will understand the reasons why Siena and its inhabitants were considered among the proudest in Italy and tried to defend their freedoms from the Florentine usurpers to the end. You will know the story of Laudomia Forteguerri, the passionate and noble lesbian poetess, and that of Caterina Vizzani, aka Giovanni Bordoni, the adventurous Roman lesbian who ended her days in Siena for the love of the city and… of her woman! We will also show you the most important monuments in the history of Siena, Piazza del Campo, where the famous Palio has been held for centuries, and the Cathedral of the Assunta, the most extraordinary medieval architecture in central Italy!

If you have always thought of the Middle Ages as a gloomy period of repression and intransigence, throw away your scholastic reminiscences and come with us on a journey that will reveal all the colors of the medieval rainbow!

WHAT WE WILL DO

  • We will visit San Gimignano and Siena explaining the history, culture, art and traditions of these two gems of Tuscany.
  • You will get to know the queer history of San Gimignano and Siena by admiring the most iconic and representative places of the two towns.
  • We will take you to discover the traditions of the two Tuscan cities which have always been a symbol of originality and excellence.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

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

TIMETABLES:The tour is available every day.

ACCESS: There are no paid entrances. For admission to the Civic Museums of San Gimignano, the Palazzo Pubblico and the Cathedral of Siena, contact us.

TRANSPORTATION: Transportation is not included in the tour fee, which only includes the cost of the guided tour. To request a quote, contact us.

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