When we talk about the Medici family, the patrons of the Renaissance and the first bankers of modern Europe, we can’t help but think of their legacy and the immense art collection they left to us Italians. However, what is still largely ignored by historians is the relationship between the Medici and the Florentine queer community between the 15th and 18th centuries. The question we want to ask ourselves on this tour is: “To what extent did the Medici contribute to spreading and promoting the idea of a queer Renaissance?”.
Right from the beginning of their fortune, the Medicis distinguished themselves in the city for their unconventional taste, which was disliked by the more conservative and reactionary part of Florentine society. Cosimo the Elder was criticized for commissioning scandalous works of art such as Donatello’s David, the first work since Roman times to depict a half-naked adolescent. Rather than give in to criticism, the banker proudly displayed his work in the courtyard of the Medici Palace. His nephew, Lorenzo the Magnificent, was even accused of moral perversion, bisexuality and of having turned Florence into “an orgy of pleasures”. His permissive attitude, especially with regard to sodomy (which was not adequately punished, according to detractors) was the origin of the fiery sermons addressed to him by his bitter enemy, the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola.
Our tour will start right from Palazzo Medici, where we will explain the origins of the Medici fortune and the strategies adopted by the protagonists of the fifteenth-century political season to gain power in the city. From the San Lorenzo district, the family’s area of influence, to Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio, we will tell you about episodes that will shed light on the Medici’s true relationship with religion, politics and classical culture! From the Republic to the Grand Duchy, we will tell you the story of the rise and fall of the Medici family, taking into consideration their relationship with the queer people of Florence, their progressive attitude and how this was exploited in order to oppose their enemies!
Across Ponte Vecchio, we will arrive at the majestic Pitti Palace, the official residence of the Grand Ducal court, where we will continue our discussion by analyzing the relationship of the Medici with art and culture. We will take you through the magnificent rooms frescoed by Pietro da Cortona and other important seventeenth-century artists, discussing paintings, statues, goldsmith objects and precious artifacts commissioned and collected by the various Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses to celebrate their unique and refined taste which included artists like Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Titian, Raphael, Antonio Canova and many others. We will tell you anecdotes about the private life of the lords of Tuscany to show you a profoundly human portrait of these legendary characters who, with their eccentric passions, attracted criticism from the courts of half of Europe!
Our journey will end in the Boboli Gardens, among statues of enigmatic water gods and mysterious secret gardens where, in the shade of caves and fountains, the Medici enjoyed their love affairs undisturbed. We will tell you the true story of Gian Gastone de’ Medici and Giuliano Dami, the obscure bisexual businessman and butler of the Grand Duke; Ferdinand II and the ramshackle gang of gay pages and scientists and the reactions of Vittoria della Rovere, who was so scandalized by her husband’s behavior that she did not speak to him for 18 years!
Guaranteed that our Queer Medici tour will help you to look at the glorious history of the Medici house from… another point of view!
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.
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!
There are no reviews yet.