Italy is an inclusive and welcoming country that has a long and rich LGBTQ+ history. Thanks to the introduction of civil unions in 2016, Italy is beginning to reach levels of social inclusion similar to other EU states. The northern and central part of the country have more active and established gay scenes than in the south, but throughout Italy you will find many queer-owned and queer-friendly businesses that are eager to welcome you to their regions. QueerVadis.com will help you find these businesses as we build out our portal.
Milan, is the most openly LGBTQ+ friendly city in Italy and offers numerous options for LGBTQ+ activities, events, accommodations, tours, bars and clubs. The city is known as the Italy’s fashion capital and, every year thousands of visitors flock to Milan for shopping and large trade events like the Salone di Mobile and the Spring and Fall Men’s and Women’s Fashion Weeks.
The majority of gay friendly bars and clubs are concentrated in the Porta Venezia neighborhood in Lecco Street and in San Martini Street. This neighborhood hosts Milan’s famous Pride events every June (including a parade with more than 250,000 participants).
Milan will also host the 2022 International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association’s (IGLTA) annual conference in October 2022, and the city’s leaders are serious about making Milan the most welcoming city in Italy for LGBTQ+ tourism.
Rome, The Eternal City, offers lots of options for LGBTQ+ travelers. The city is the birthplace of the Roman Empire, and where the Greek tradition of same-sex relationships was not condemned, but in fact encouraged and broadly accepted within Roman society.
Rome encompasses an extraordinary LGBTQ+ cultural heritage, especially evident when visiting the Vatican Museums or the Sistine Chapel, where you can see many homosexual symbols and homoerotic paintings. Also in Tivoli, in the surroundings of Rome, gay life and love has thrived for many centuries.
Rome has a diverse and active LGBTQ scene, mostly concentrated on S. Giovanni Street in the Laterano neighborhood.
Venice, the City of Love, is one of the most picturesque and romantic cities in Italy and the world. It has a long and colorful history of welcoming queer travelers from around the world.
It doesn’t have a specific gay district, and in fact the entire city can be considered completely gay friendly.
On the Lido of Venice, there is a popular gay beach called Alberoni Beach. The beach is generally quiet, and is a popular place for gay dating during the winter.
Florence is the capital of Tuscany, one of Italy’s most beautiful regions. It is known throughout the world for its art that is the legacy of the Renaissance period.
Florence is not a big city but it offers an interesting and lively LGBTQ+ scene thanks to the spirit of openness of the people who live there. Countless famous artists who left their signature in Florence belonged to LGBTQ+ community. Florence has a long history of being very open to LGBTQ tourists.
Turin played an important role in the unification of Italy, and is a wonderful city to include on any trip to Norther Italy.
Turin has benefited from a very active gay-rights movement over the years, making the city particularly inclusive and welcoming towards the LGBTQ+ community.
There are many gay friendly saunas, discos, nightclubs, and festivals throughout the year. Each June, the city glimmers with Turin Pride and the famous “Lovers Film Festival – Torino LGBTQI Visions”, with is one of the most important LGBTQ+ film festivals in Europe.
Naples is an amazing city, and is a gateway to the Amalfi Coast, and the islands of Cabpri, Ischia and Procida.
The Archaeological Museum in Naples has some fabulous homoerotic pieces, including the statue of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, the male-male couple who were revered as the founders of the Athenian democracy. Also you will be able to see the fascinating Gabinetto Segreto, a collection of erotic art that until the 1960s was only open to “people of mature age and respectable morals”.
Another interesting place is San Giovanni Maggiore church, a church built on the remains of an ancient pagan temple probably commissioned by Hadrianus the Emperor in honor of his beloved Antinoo.
Bologna is a city with a rich cultural life and an interesting artistic heritage, as well as the home of the oldest university of the Western world. Many Italians and others also believe that Bologna is home to some of the best cuisine in Italy.
Bologna is one of the most liberal and gay-friendly cities in Italy. Bologna has a great gay nightlife scene, and many options for entertainment due to the huge number of university students in the area. Bologna is also the headquarters of Arcigay, the main Italian LGBTQ+ rights organization, and the largest in terms of number of volunteers and activists throughout Italy. Other associations are: Agedo, Famiglie Arcobaleno and MIT.
Sicily is famous for the beauty of its baroque cities, its beaches, amazing cuisine and a many gay and lesbian friendly destinations.
Siracusa is the homeland of Archimedes and of the Greek civilization; Situated at the feet of Mount Etna, the tallest volcano in Europe, Catania is a baroque and very gay friendly city; Taormina is a splendid gay friendly town with stunning views on the Mediterranean Sea and wonderful beaches; Noto is another welcoming Sicilian destination. In 2002 Noto was defined Capital of Baroque and its historic center was declared Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Sicily should be on every LGBTQ+ traveller’s Italian travel wish list!