The Gay Duke of Tuscany

Gian Gastone de Medici at Palazzo Pitti

Giovanni Gastone de’ Medici best known as Gian Gastone was born in Florence in 1671. He had a very good relationship with his mother Margherita Luisa d’Orleans but not with his father Cosimo III de’ Medici.

During his childhood he got the best education, he was intelligent and devoted to scientific interests specially botany, becoming one of the princes with highest education of his time. He knew also Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, German and English.

The Untold history says that his first contact with one of his greatest lover, Giuliano Dami, a beautiful Tuscan farmer, was a few years after the marriage of the Duke’s brother.

Gastone Demi – Wikicommons

Gian Gastone and Giuliano Dami met during a visit to the Medici court, Gastone remained astonished by the physical appearance of Giuliano and ask him to become his servant. Giuliano became the adventures lover and admirer and followed him even when the Duke got married with the princess Anna Maria Francesca of Saxony-Lauenburg in 1697.

After the wedding with the princess, Gian Gastone moved to Prague and took with him Giuliano. In 1708 the Duke abandoned his wife forever and came back to Florence to live in Palazzo Pitti.

During his life in Florence he stayed out from the state affairs because he was not interested amd spend his time reading scientific works, botany and picking antiques. He also spent his days getting drunk, participating in erotic games organized by Giuliano, sometimes with boys of both sexes and modest social conditions that he paid to participate.

Statue of Gian Gastone de’ Medici at the Uffizi Gallery

When the Duke began to get sick his power went down and he decided to prepare himself for a good Christian death and he became closer to his sister Anna Maria Luisa, an enemy of Giuliano.

When the Duke died in 1737, Giuliano Dami, fearing the revenge of Anna Maria Luisa abandoned Florence and lost his own traces returning to the country of birth where he spent his life and died.

Now you can find his statue at the Uffizi Gallery and his painting at the Pitti Palace.

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