Venice, Carnival and its History

“We danced our youth in a dreamed of city, Venice Paradise Proud and Pretty.”


Amazing Travel Experiences:  Arriving in Venice High Above on a Ship


“You, all of you… you who hunger for what I give, but can not bear to see such power in one of us.  You call God’s Greatest Gift, our Yearning, our Need to Love… You call it Filth and Sin and Heresy”

“There is not a Man in Venice that I can’t have…”    – The Honest Courtesan  “Dangerous Beauty”

History: Gay Men and Carnival in Venice 

Along with the Courtesans, Homosexuals were recognized and often celebrated in Venice,  Some families would train their boys to entertain the Noble men of Venice. These boys the  “Boccia da Cullo”, were take-home by the Nobel, and employed as “Roundsman” and taken to bed as needed or desired.”

Later, in 1407, the Serenissima Republic created laws again sodomites.  Men or boys discovered to be having “unnatural sex” were hanged on ropes between the two columns at the from of the Piazza San Marco.  That year, 30 Sodomites were discovered and prosecuted.

However, as always, homosexuality persisted. Both notables and working boys were arrested and punished during difficult times.  During better periods, there can be found few or no records of arrests.

The one time during the year, when it seems, both Courtesans and homosexuals were exempt from arrest was during the lead up to Lent, The Venetian Carnival.   The wearing of masks,, which grant total anonymity,  a certain liberty  to explore one’s desires was allowed and celebrated.    The first Venetian Carnaval took place in 1268.  They continued  yearly until the fall of the Venetian Empire in 1788.   And restated again two centuries later.  Carnival was outlawed by the Facists in the 1030’s and was finally reborn in 1979.


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