“Now we go to see a sexy naked guy,” our guide says matter-of-factly, as he scurries ahead of us into the next room. It’s not the sort of thing one expects to hear on a tour inside Catholicism’s international headquarters — but then again, this is no ordinary Vatican tour.
We’re being led on a gay-themed exploration of the Vatican’s massive and incomparable art collection, as part of the “Untold History” tour launched late last year by Italian LGBT travel company Quiiky. Our escort is the ebullient Tiberio Tassinari, who says he’s led thousands of groups in his years as a guide at the so-called Vatican Museums — but only recently, since working for Quiiky, has he been so freely able to share his knowledge of the gay backstories behind the world-famous art and artists housed here (thanks to masterpiece-hoarding popes of the past).
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