|ITALIAN GAY HISTORY
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.
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