Scroll To Top
Exclusives

Five Gayncient Destinations

Five Gayncient Destinations

Our favorite hotbeds of gay activity in the ancient world.

?

Greece may have been the cradle of democracy, but it was also the hammock of the homos. From the Sacred Band of Thebes to the "boy-loving" Athenians (quote from Sparta's King Leonidas in 300) and the pederasty-loving Spartans (no quote from Leonidas on this score) to the demigod Hercules and his taste for boys, it was a land of plenty for gays.

Rome, too, had its moments and a queer emperor who had his dead twink deified. As did Troy -- Brad played Achilles straight, but in real life the near-indestructible warrior was in love with his cousin Patrocles.

So, have things changed in modern times? Sure, there are fewer gods strutting around, but from the superb gay beaches of Mykonos to a cool cruise bar in Rome, you might yet find some demigods to amuse you.

1. HADRIAN'S WALL, ENGLAND

On March 13, 84 miles of this Roman wall that traverses the width of Northern England, will be illuminated by 500 torches from Segedunum Roman Fort at Wallsend in the North East, to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria. Hadrian, a second-century emperor best known for his affair with the lithe, handsome Greek hottie Antinous -- the last person to be turned into a pagan god by imperial edict after his mysterious death by drowning in the Nile in AD130.

A grief-stricken Hadrian employed all the media power of the mighty Roman Empire to make his boy No. 1, erecting statues and temples to him across the ancient world and even founding a theme park dedicated to him called Antinoopolis, wrote Mark Simpson in Britain's Independent on Sunday in 2002.

For more details, visit IlluminatingHadriansWall.com/site.

2. CAESAREA, ISRAEL

This ancient Roman city in Israel, named Caesarea by Herod the Great, who turned it into a major port, is included in the itinerary of porn king Michael Lucas's new travel company, which departs for Israel on May 26 for a 14-day tour that also includes the modern gay mecca Tel Aviv.

3. HANGAR, ROME

Check out some modern Roman cuties at this old-school cruise bar in the heart of the Roman empire. Adjacent to the Forum, Rome's oldest gay bar is helmed by American John Moss who keeps the mood dark and horny.

Via in Selci 69, Rome, Italy
Telephone +39 6 488 1397
Open: Wed-Mon 22:30-02:30
HangarOnline.It

4. MYKONOS

This little Greek island has so long been a gay favorite it?s easy to forget it exists. It has a suitably camp pedigree too: Legend has is that Zeus fought a Titan here, and the isle is named after Mykons, the grandson of Apollo.

So lots of muscled gods throwing thunderbolts, right? On which, most hotels are gay-friendly, but if it's an exclusively gay one you're after, you'll want to check out the Elyseum.
ElysiumHotel.com

5. BEIRUT

Recently war-torn, the jewel of the Mediterranean has bounced back admirably in the last two years. The old Ottoman alleys, lain over Roman ones, are filled with trendy nightclubs and smoky bars.

Among the best are Bardo, a tr?s chic bar and restaurant and the old standby Acid, a massive club built into a mountain in Sin-El-Fil.
AcidNightclub.com

Out Magazine Print SubscriptionAdvocate Print Subscription

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories