Tour Information

An enlightening exploration of Emperor Hadrian’s beloved mausoleum, his lover Antinous and the important role this castle has played in ancient and modern Rome

The Castle was built between AD 134 and 139, and was originally commissioned by Emperor Hadrian to serve as the mausoleum for him and his family. Emperor Hadrian was famously in love with Antinous, a younger Greek man. Following his death, Hadrian deified Antinous and founded and organized a cult devoted to his worship that spread throughout the Empire.

Legend holds that Pope Gregarius saw the Archangel Michael appear atop the mausoleum, sheathing his sword as a sign of the end of the plague of 590, and causing him to rename the Castel “Sant’Angelo”.

The Castle provided shelter for many different popes during times of war. In the XII century an underground tunnel connected the Castle to the Vatican, so that the Pope and his soldiers could escape during attacks on the Vatican.

It was also one of the biggest prisons in Rome. The famous XVI Century Italian sculptor Benvenuto Cellini accused of robbery and jailed here. Benvenuto Cellini was also a homosexual artist, who loved to meet young men at his ‘bottega’ and was attracted by the perfection of the male body. History tells that he had five children, but that he also used to live with a young man and had many bisexual lovers.

Today Castel Sant’Angelo is a magnificent museum of Papal gems and art. It is also still the summer residence of the Pope. Visits are usually divided into six levels and include:

  • The Underground Prison, which was built by Pope Alessandro Borgia
  • The ‘Olearie’, or food warehouses
  • Pope Leon X Courtyard: where ‘the fire’ was prepared in order to warm up the waters which were used by the Pope during his bath
  • The Bath closet: filled with frescoes recalling fancy animals and mythological beings
  • The ‘Passetto di Borgo’ a fortified path, connecting the castle to the Vatican Palaces
  • The National Museum with several exhibitions, including chinaware, sculptures, frescoes and military weapons
Departure:
Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome

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Additional Information

Include this tour into the ‘ Vatican Museum in a Gay Light Tour’ and get a 10% discount on both tours! Do not miss the deal to get a complete overview of the Vatican hidden secrets

PROMO CODE: 10ROME

The Voice of Our Clients

Ian
Ian
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My husband and I booked the tour of the “Vatican in a gay light” for one morning during our trip to Rome. Our guide, Dario, was very knowledgeable of the historical significe of the art works as well as many of the anecdotes that provided context. We learned a great deal and truly enjoyed ourselves. This tour is too notch! Thank you.
Matt Berg
Matt Berg
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Excellent pre-cruise Quiiky tour in Venice. Great guide who had so much intimate knowledge of Venice. Besides being very handsome he is a local resident for more than 2 decades with so much intimate knowledge that you can’t get from a guidebook. This is my second time using Quiiky for tours and transfers; they’re my first choice in Italy!
Dan & Vince
Dan & Vince
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First I would like to thank you and your company and all involved for a wonderful trip. From beginning to end we continued to be amazed by all the wonder service we received from all of you. We had a fabulous time for our anniversary. All the guides were great and all better than we expected. It is hard to pick a best as they were all awesome, that being said, three stand out for being most personable and had a excellent sense of how to move us along our tours. Quiiky gets 5 out of 5 for all other ratings. Yes, we would positively reccommend for anyone considering travel to Italy. AND, Giovanna, you’re the best.
 John Bindlechner-Wigan
John Bindlechner-Wigan
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We adored our Quikky tour of the Vatican with our guide Claudio. We had been a little apprehensive about visiting the Vatican but this tour is the way to go! Claudio had an expert knowledge of the art collection and we enjoyed hearing the "other", more scandalous stories of the private lives of Michelangelo and the popes. We loved our visit to the museums, Sistine Chapel, grotto and St Peters - I recommend joining the queue and adding on the view from the dome of the basilica - well worth the stairs!
Denis Dallaire
Denis Dallaire
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The excursion to Capri was great! The headphone system worked really well and the guide Andrea was super nice and fun! He was a really good guide and would not hesitate to have him again. The food and drink offerings were very good. Thank you for a wonderful experience!
Oliver Broad
Oliver Broad
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Thanks for a great alternative tour of the Vatican. Having visited back in 1999 I wanted something a little different to do with my husband who had never visited before. It is great to see Quiiky offering tours with a twist and can most definitely recommend this one for your next visit to Rome.
Greg Brady
Greg Brady
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First had a wonderful pre-cruise Quikky tour in Venice. Our guide was super friendly, knowledgeable, and a great deal of fun. Then I went on a tour of the Vatican and our tour guide was incredible. He is an expert on the Vatican and on the pertinent gay history (which turns out to be much more than you might even think). He literally made the Vatican come alive and provided one of the more fascinating tours I have taken anywhere. And the two wonderful owners of Quiiky picked us up and took us on a vehicular tour of Rome. Others got back from Rome complaining of the crowds and the heat... we got back energized, happy, and filled with fascinating information after an afternoon filled with fun and personalized care. Don't make the mistake thinking you will get an equivalent tour from a straight guide/company -- if you are gay, Quiiky is the way to go.
Auston Matta
Auston Matta
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I highly recommend Quiiky Travel for any guided visit to Rome or Italy. I was both surprised and entertained by everything GAY I learned about the Vatican on my tour. They are passionate about providing an excellent travel experience and I have no doubt that you would enjoy one of their tours or travel products.
Denis Dallaire
Denis Dallaire
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What a wonderful experience to Messina and Taormina. Antonio was a great guide with good knowledge and history-telling. Really enjoyed the history of the museum Cusena. Again the food and drinks on the boat were very good. Thank you so much!
Santiago Stanley
Santiago Stanley
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Our excursion to Messina and Taormina today was excellent. Antonio was amazing. Our food experience was on point … starting with the granita and Brioche in Messina and the arancini and cannoli in Taormina!!! The boat trip around the bays was spectacular and the food again!!! Eggplant Parmesan and the sardine dish and olives… Again Antonio was patient , knowledgeable sweet and always on time!! Excellent experience!!!
Adam Martindale
Adam Martindale
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We had a fantastic tour of the Vatican with Paolo from Quiiky. Paolo was knowledgeable, personable, fun and really gave us a different insight into the history of art and the gay artists that are part of the Vatican’s history and more! Highly recommended!
Theron Clark Stuart
Theron Clark StuartGroup Traveller
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It was easy to schedule our tour. Everything was explained in great detail, so there was no confusion on the day of the excursion. The vans were spotless and comfortable. Our guide for the Colosseum was exceptional in every way. He was cute, knowledgeable, witty, flexible and engaging. We met so wonderful folks and shared a wonderful lunch with the guys from our group. Could not have been happier with Quiiky.
Curtis Korchinsky
Curtis KorchinskyGroup Traveller
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Fantastic company to work with. Very easy and simple…..and good value. Will definitely book with them again!
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