Photo ©Emma Rahmani via baseimage
Pisa LGBTQ +: historical walk around the city
5 stops to discover the rainbow places of Pisa
3 km
One day

Pisa is a city that's packed with places to visit and each time you come, there's a whole new experience. The Ancient Maritime Republic is perfect both for those who decide to spend a few hours discovering its beauties, and for those who want to delve deeper by opting for a longer stay.

Here, we recommend a walk through the centre of Pisa that will bring you to discover places that are linked to the LGBTQ+ community, looking at the first Italian Pride, a masterpiece of street art, and places to check out when you decide to visit the city.

The itinerary is ideal for walking or cycling.

First leg
The Leaning Tower
Leaning Tower
Leaning Tower - Credit: Lorenzo Pacifico - Pexels

You can't say that you've been to Pisa without having seen and photographed the Leaning Tower and the wonderful Piazza dei Miracoli.

The Tower has always been one of the landmarks of the city: for many years it was a meeting place for the LGBTQ+ community who came here to have fun and spend the evening with friends. In 1979, the first historic Italian Pride was completed right here. At the end of the parade, all the people who marched while showing their pride, spontaneously created a circle around the tower. To learn more about the history of that first Pride, we head to our second stop.

Second leg
Piazza dei Cavalieri
Piazza dei Cavalieri
Piazza dei Cavalieri - Credit: Leonid Andronov via Canva Pro

Piazza dei Cavalieri is one of the most famous squares in the city. In the 16th century, it became the centre of the Order of the Knights of Santo Stefano at the behest of the Grand Duke Cosimo I de 'Medici. Today, the Scuola Normale of Pisa is located here.

During the thrill of the sixties and seventies, the square was used as the starting point for marches and political demonstrations. Among these is Pisa79, an event that became a milestone for the Italian LGBTQ+ movement. Pisa79 is considered the first official Italian Pride as the first manifestation by a homosexual collective authorized by the police headquarters and sponsored by the Municipality of Pisa.

According to estimates, there were about 300 participants on November 24, 1979, with the group joined by both the curious and by allies such as feminist collectives. The procession went along the streets of the historic centre, passing from Ponte di Mezzo, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele and Corso Italia, finally ending in the famous Piazza dei Miracoli.

Third leg
Vicolo del Tinti
Question to the police headquarters for the Pisa79 demonstration of the Orfeo Homosexual Circle
Question to the police headquarters for the Pisa79 demonstration of the Orfeo Homosexual Circle - Credit: Publico Dominio

From Piazza dei Miracoli, we now head towards Vicolo del Tinti. You'll find a small street in the historic centre with several restaurants but in the 70s, the headquarters of the Circolo Omosessuale Orfeo was located at number 30, one of the first associations in Italy created to combat violence against LGBTQ+ people.

The club was founded by several students at the University of Pisa who came from other Tuscan cities. In the turmoil of those years, the first activism activities began with weekly meetings, leaflets, disco evenings and film reviews.

Fourth leg
Palazzo Blu
Palazzo Blu
Palazzo Blu - Credit: Luca Aless, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

We now arrive at Palazzo Blu, the exhibition space on the southern Lungarno that hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events.

Here, exhibitions are organized that even feature some of the greatest international artists of today. You'll regularly find paintings, sculptures and photographs by artists close to the LGBTQ+ world. For example, in the past the museum has hosted an exhibition on Andy Warhol and Henri Toulouse Lautrec.

Fifth leg
Mural by Keith Haring
Mural by Keith Haring
Mural by Keith Haring - Credit: Gayly Planet

We conclude our walk by reaching the famous mural titled TUTTOMONDO by Keith Haring.

Haring was one of the most influential LGBTQ+ artists and his works only become comprehensible upon relating them to the struggles for the rights of LGBTQ+ people, especially those who fought against AIDS and the stigma of the disease that abounded during the years of his working life.

TUTTOMONDO is located in Piazzetta Haring in Pisa and is one of the last works of public art created by him before he died. It's a representation of how Haring imagined the future: a world in which one would live in harmony with nature and where the dominant ideals are those of peace and unity.