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ITALIAN GAY HISTORY

Cave paintings from the Val Camonica region of Italy depict sex between men dating back over eight thousand years. And - we can say - since then, Italy has always been a perfect spot for gay tourists from all over the world.
In ancient times, Homosexual relationships were common among Roman citizens, particularly between masters and slaves or teachers and pupils, just like in Greek culture.

Then, in the Renaissance, some very important gay people have drawn public attention on the homosexual behaviour: we can remember Michelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo da Vinci, Pontormo, Caravaggio, and other immortal artists who were definitely in love with other men.

Since the Vatican is in Italy, the Italian society has been very strongly influenced by the Catholic Church, that prevented it to become more tolerant. In 1972 the very first gay demonstration took place in Sanremo, and since 1988 a national Gay Pride has been organized each year in a different town of the country.

But it was the Gay World Pride 2000 in Rome that really made the things change: about 500,000 people gathered and marched through the Eternal City, challenging the efforts made by the Catholic Church to prevent the demonstration. Newpapers, tv shows, radios could not ignore the event, that made the gay and lesbian Italian community more visible and active.



 
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