Like a Virgin: gay life in Venice from the Middle Ages to present days

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From $67.17

4 reviews   (5.00)

Price varies by group size

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Pricing Info: Per Person

Duration: 2 hours

Departs: Venice, Venice

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

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Hear about the stories about the cross-dressing in cat masks, exploring the places of cruising from middle ages through the later centuries up to the tolerant attitude of nowadays Venice.
Take a trip over the centuries through the gay history of Venice, which is as labyrinthine as the city’s convoluted system of canals. Travel back to Middle Ages, when the practice of sodomy was deemed a sin. Learn about the history of Rolandina, a transgender who was burned at stake, as several other men of all social statuses have being condemned for their same-sex relations in the following centuries. Visit the city as a European tourists did during their discovery trip "Grand Tour" in the 17th century and how Thomas Mann and Frederick Rolfe made Venice a place of homosexual imagery during Belle Epoque. Learn about the fascist attempt to “clean up” the city, while following the location of a music video by a gay-icon as Madonna and checking out how is gay life nowadays in the floating city.

What's Included

Tour Leader & Nature and Interpretive Guide

What's Not Included


Traveler Information

  • YOUTH: Age: 0 - 15
  • ADULT: Age: 16 - 99

Additional Info

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Service animals allowed
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Service animals allowed

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Experience may be cancelled due to Insufficient travelers

What To Expect

We will pass by where used to live an italian poet, who came out in the early 70s and committed suicide some years ago. His works were some of the first Italian poetry to explore homosexuality

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Chiesa Santa Maria Mater Domini
We will visit a church whose arcades were placed under surveillance by public authorities to prevent sodomites from using it to cruise and meet in 1488.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Ponte delle Tette
We will walk in what was the red light district par excellence of Venice in 15th century. Back in those days under these shadowy porticos around this bridge neighbourhood prostitutes were encouraged by authorities to display their wares in order to prevent sodomy in town. In the same streets walked the "gnaghe", queers or men dressed as women covering their faces with cat masks and emitting the plaintive calls of cats in heat, making explicit proposals to passers-by.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Chiesa di San Cassiano
We will hear the story of Rolandina Roncaglia, the first trans person we know of in Italy. She was born as Rolandino, for seven years she lived as a woman in a house nearby. Beside selling eggs and the local market, she became a prostitute. Once discovered in 1355, she had a terrible death.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Chiesa di San Sebastiano
One of Venice’s leading art venues thanks to its magnificent cycle of paintings by Paolo Veronese, who is buried here. We will understand why San Sebastiano is considered the patron saint of the LGBT community worldwide.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Campanile di San Marco
Outside the tallest bell tower in Venice, an iron cage called "cheba" dates back to the 15th century and in the 16th century. It was also used as to expose somodimite priests to them to the bad weather and taunts of the crowd below.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Harry's Bar
Despite the founder said it was just a rumours, we will check out a famous bar where gay travellers gathered up to the 70's

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Riva degli Schiavoni
we will visit a palace where a love story was staged between a venetian rower and a famous german writer.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Palazzo Mocenigo
In this palace used to live a famous british poet, aknoledged not only for his poetry but also for a more or less important bisexual component in his very complex sentimental and sexual life.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free


Get off the beaten path with a great local guide.
John G, 15-10-2022
This tour was a great introduction to the beauty of Venice, off the beaten path, and amazing information about gay life in Venice. Valerio’s knowledge is encyclopedic and his warmth and kindness are greatly appreciated. I only wish the tour lasted longer; the time flew and left us wanting more.
Venezia o Venice o Venedig comunque sia sempre affascinante!
Edoardo C, 12-07-2021
The best to visit a city, to enter in its DNA is to see it from different perspectives, fishing in to a melting pot of real facts, myths and sayings.

Valerio is able to make you living Venice though its history. With a pink flavour, good punch of empathy and a good historical knowledge of Venice growth from its Repubblica Marinara soul to the Austrian Hungarian time up to nowadays.

Un tour piacevole dove Valerio lancia degli spunti e noi visitatori siamo invitati a rispondere, con la nostra sensibilita' e la nostra curiosita'.

Un tour che merita di essere scelto.
Hendrik56988, 15-12-2022
Mi è piaciuta la originalità dell'esperienza, la competenza della guida e il fatto che il gruppo fosse piccolissimo!
Da ripetere! Interessantissimo
MolecularGio, 02-02-2021
Una visita fuori dal comune: Valerio è in grado di coinvolgere con aneddoti molto divertenti che riportano sempre dei fatti storici realmente accaduti! Spiegazioni intraprendenti e molto chiare! Le ore passate in compagnia sono volate! Io e i miei amici ne siamo rimasti colpiti: consiglio vivamente per conoscere una Venezia nascosta e esilarante!

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