If the streets of Bologna weren’t already singing with LGBTQ+ culture, they are set to come alive in 2023 when they host Various Voices a quad-annual event from LEGATO, the European Association of LGBTQ+ Choirs. According to LEGATO, the festival is a celebration for the LGBTQ+ choirs and musicians of Europe celebrating with their friends from around the worldwide community of singers, to share, learn, and enjoy time, singing performing, engaging in the beautiful ancient “la rossa” red city of Bologna and the people of the region of Emilia-Romagna, the home of Parma ham, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan.
Bringing together an expected 5,000 participants, Various Voices will span five warm summer days and nights from June 14 – 18, 2023, full of singing, entertainment, and fun. LGBTQ+ choirs are set to perform in a range of languages, styles, serving up a range of European musicians and music for all to enjoy.
Bologna is home to more than 20 LGBTQ+ organizations within its borders, and its municipality stands firmly against discrimination and promotes equality and diversity. It was the first Italian city to assign a specific location where its LGBTQ+ citizens could thrive: the Cassero di Porta Saragozza (in 1982), and it was the first to elect a person of trans experience to its local council, Marcella Di Folco. Since 2016, the Bologna authorities have joined the rainbow cities of Europe and the European coalition of cities against racism.
Looking to visit Bologna soon? Here are some LGBTQ+ focused places to check out:
- Kinky Club in via Zamboni No.1, a historic LGBTQ+ entertainment spot since the 70’s
- The Stefano Casagrande Garden is dedicated to one of the most famous artists and activists of the Bologna gay movement.
- Porta Saragozza, the starting point of the annual Bologna Pride parade.
- Via Polese is home to “Paquito”, a historic cruising bar near the headquarters of MIT, a non-profit founded to fight against discriminations on the basis of gender identity.
Find out more about Various Voices here; and plan your trip to Bologna with help from their official tourism site’s page dedicated to LGBTQ+ travelers.