Tour Information

Leonardo da Vinci is named as the ‘Renaissance Genius’. He was a scientist, a painter, an architect, an engineer a choreographer, an inventor and much more. A superior mind in a time of great artistic and scientific enlightenment which made Italy the country of knowledge and art.

Leonardo’s personality was driven by a speculative idea…he needed to understand and to explain natural phenomenon and he did it by a never-ending study. Nevertheless, even though he was acknowledged as a genius by all Renaissance courts, he was pursued and condemned for his homosexuality. At his laboratory in Florence and Milan (in his ‘bottega’), some scholars were involved in romances with him, which harassed his fame. Leonardo was said to be grumpy and misanthropic….but he fell in love with a young scholar, who he surnamed Salaì (from Salaino, the Devil’s name). Salai was a handsome young man who had a very strong appeal on Leonardo, who accepted his turbulent and outrageous attitude.  ‘St John the Baptist’ painting recalls Salai as a model and he has inspired many paintings (amongst them, the ‘Mona Lisa’). His scholar Salai was a turbulent character in Leonardo’s life. Salai was clearly a cheater, a thief….and Leonardo knew that. Nevertheless he kept the young man with him until two years before he died.

From 1517 to 1519 (Leonardo’s death), the artist with lived with Francesco Melzi, who inherited the papers and drawings of his great Master. At Villa Melzi in Vaprio d’Adda, he collected  the painting studies and exercises into the ‘Book of Paintings’. Historical dinners in Leonardo’s style are organized in Vaprio, nowadays.

Leonardo homosexuality has long been a prickly subject. Many of his drawings and anatomic studies, as well as legal papers, deny this interpretation.

Sigmund Freud in his "Child memories of Leonardo da Vinci" (1910) discusses about his feminine attitude and his  great generosity. Freud started his research from the Atlantic Codex, where Leonardo wrote few lines about a child memory: the artist remembers that, when a baby-boy in his cot,  a kite flew on his mouth and flattered its tail on Leonardo’s mouth. In Freud’s opinion, this memory explains a lot about the artist’s alternate moods.

Another testimonial is the book ‘The Pink Stockings of Salai’ by Pietro Marani (2011), in which the author recalls the romance of Leonardo and Salai, pretending to be Francesco Melzi. He clearly gives evidence of Leonardo’s generosity to Salai who received a pair of pink stockings as a special gift from his master/lover.

This gay tour takes the visitor to the Ambrosiana Gallery, to see the Atlantic Code and Salaì’s portrait. The Sforza’s Castle is the next step, followed by the Leonardo’s Vineyard, which is one of the oldest ones for ‘Aromatic Candia Malvasia’ in Europe.

Departure:
Milan

Places You’ll See

Sala delle Asse, Sforza Castle
Ambrosiana Gallery
Leonardo’s Vineyard

Itinerary

Tab Item Content

What's Included

Escorted Tour
Professional gay-friendly guide
Ticketing

What's Excluded

Everything not clearly mentioned on what's Included
Personal extras
Tips

Additional Information

  • Full Day walking tour (6 hours, lunch not included);
  • Ambrosiana Gallery is closed on Monday.
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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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Leonardo Da Vinci Gay Tour

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