Rome lives in the shadow of the Vatican and other companies might choose not to ruffle Catholic feathers or take a public position on LGBT rights. Rome Walks wishes to voice its support for LGBT communities across the globe by offering a brief history of the gay community in Rome and Italy. Starting at the shop-bistro-cafe Coming Out across from the Colosseum and ending in front of Arcigay’s offices in the Testaccio club district, this walk explores the love lives of emperors, artists, aristocrats, and kings. Learn about health, hygiene, and bath culture in the ancient world. Learn why “Florenzer” was a slang term for gay during Renaissance and hear the tragic true story of 16th-century same-sex couples who were secretly married in one of Rome’s churches.
On a walk that skirts the southern edge of the city you will see the remains of the gladitorial training barracks in the shadow of the Colosseum and hear about concepts of masculinity the ancient world. Then you'll visit a church we now now was performing same-sex marriage in the 16th Century. Beauty was considered by the ancients to be divine so all Romans cared for their health and hygiene at the public baths. You'll visit the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla and hear about how bath culture has changed from ancient to modern Rome. You'll end in Rome's club district to hear about the birth of Arcigay and Italy's contemporary movements for gay rights.