1. Cesare Borgia Held An Erotic Banquet At The Papal Palace In 1501
The papal orgy known as the Banquet of the Chestnuts took place in October 1501 at the Papal Palace in Rome. The host was Cesare Borgia, a former cardinal and, at the time, son of Pope Alexander VI.
Contemporary Johann Burchard provided a description of the event:
On the evening of the last day of October, 1501, Cesare Borgia arranged a banquet in his chambers in the Vatican with fifty honest prostitutes, called courtesans, who danced after the dinner with the attendants and the others who were present, at first in their garments, then naked.
After dinner, the candelabra with the burning candles were taken from the tables and placed on the floor, and chestnuts were strewn around, which the naked courtesans picked up, creeping on hands and knees between the chandeliers, while the Pope, Cesare, and his sister Lucretia looked on. Finally, prizes were announced for those who could perform the act most often with the courtesans, such as tunics of silk, shoes, barrettes, and other things.
The pontificate of Alexander VI was no stranger to excess, but Burchard's version of the banquet is the only one that exists. This has resulted in some skepticism about its objectivity. Even with the likes of Right Reverend Monsignor Peter de Roo attempting to explain the event as nothing more than a feast, it remained undeniable that Borgia could have taken part in such a "scene truly bestial."