The Most LGBTQ+ Friendly Cities in Italy (2022)

By Soren Rivero

Finding a great travel destination as a member of the LGBTQ+ community can be a simultaneously tricky yet rewarding task. Tricky because not all places are accommodating; rewarding because once you find the right place, it makes your trip worthwhile.

Italy is a magnificent choice for LGBTQ+ travel as they have plenty of diverse cities that welcome all types of people. Here are our top recommendations for the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in Italy!

Coastline Queerness: Catania

Located on the very eastern coastline off of Italy’s largest island, Sicily, is the ancient port city of Catania. Bursting with bright blue coast waters cast against the metropolitan cityscape, this city is surely one to charm you with all its beauty and cultural heritage. Known for its inclusivity, history, and plentiful places to eat unique seafood dishes, Sicily is a must-see destination in Italy.

Catania is notorious for being one of the most famous LGBTQ+ cities in Italy, with a nickname of ‘Gay Catania.’ This city is especially great if you’re interested in volcanic history , culture, and keeping things quiet yet interesting. If you want to know where to find gay bars and clubs in Italy, a popular queer meetup spot is Nievki, where you’ll see people of all backgrounds enjoying each other’s company and mingling. There’s also the bar Via Alessi, which has been accepting LGBTQ+ members since way back in the 1970s. If you plan to visit Italy in the summer, be sure to visit the Catania Gay Pride Parade!

Rome: Gay Street? No— Gay Village

Rome, Rome, Rome… the city of history and dazzling architectural wonders, who would have thought this city would bring with it such a vibrant LGBTQ+ scene?

There’s always something unique to do in Rome, whether you want to visit a UNESCO world heritage site or simply sip on an espresso while people-watching in a local park. The growing presence of liberal views makes this city especially kind to LGBTQ+ travelers – you’ll see plenty LGBTQ+ friendly establishments.

If you want the real-deal, head over to Via San Giovanni to visit the city’s very own gay street. Located just a few minutes walking distance from the Colosseum, this flamboyant and prideful street is where the LGBTQ+ community has made their home for over 50 years! Be sure to check out ‘Gay Village’, an annual event aimed towards advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights. If you find yourself asking "does Italy have any LGBT friendly cities?", Rome would be the perfect answer!

Aside from that, a trip to Rome is not complete without visiting some of the more popular sights. One such recommendation is the Sistine Chapel, where you can see depictions of LGBTQ+ representation in the great (and supposedly homosexual) Michelangelo’s artwork. Combined with the super buff, tanned, and almost nude gladiators who fought in the Colosseum thousands of years back, some might say Rome was a city destined for gayness.

See Every Color of the Rainbow in Bologna

Just above Rome in northern Italy is the Emilia-Romagna region, which houses the historically-rich and culturally significant city of Bologna. Popular not only for the immense knowledge held within its borders, this city is great for planning fun date ideas in Italy. As for things to do in Bologna, you'll want to visit the archaic Piazza Maggiore. The plaza is brimming with cafes, colonnades, shops, and even ancient structures dating back to the Medieval times such as the Fountain of Neptune.

Bologna has a steadily-growing LGBTQ+ scene thanks to the young university students who hang around the area. It’s one of the first ever Italian cities that had community centers aimed towards advocating for gay rights. Pride and other events are common in Bologna, with people from all over the country coming together to join in the fun.

Bologna is famously known as the Red City for the red-brick buildings around the city and its history as left leaning politics. But with all the traces of LGBTQ+ activism and hot spots now emerging, maybe it's more of a Rainbow City?

Meet Milan: The Pride and Joy of the LGBTQ+ Community in Italy

Ask any LGBTQ+ traveler who has been to this beautiful country about which city does Pride the best, and they’ll likely tell you that Milan is the most gay friendly city in Italy.

Referred to by some as the Rainbow Capital, Milan is extremely popular among those who love the luxurious lifestyle thanks to it being a global fashion center. Just walking through the streets will make you feel like a runway model, donning the most beautiful and intricately-crafted pieces from Gucci or Prada – after all, avant-garde fashion has long been a staple characteristic of the LGBTQ+ community. But it’s not just the fashion that makes Milan a super gay-friendly city in Italy, it's the overall acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community that makes the city so special.

If you're wondering where to go in Milan for LGBTQ+ travelers, you’ll find it in the Porta Venezia district near the capital. Here is where you'll see the best gay bars in Milan and even some LGBT+ themed nightclubs that are bustling with people looking to mingle and have a great time. During Pride Week in June, the district’s famous gay street, Via Lecco, comes to life with colorful stands, banners, and flags celebrating the community. If you want to know more about the best gay-themed events in Milan, grab a copy of the Milano Pride magazine. This will also help you find some of the best gay clubs in Milan!

Find Your Sense of Comfort in the Historic Streets of Florence

Did you know that Florence was the first city in Italy to not only abolish the death penalty, but also to abolish criminal punishments for homosexuality? Florence has always been ahead of the curve in terms of acceptance. In addition, some members of the 17th century Medici Dynasty were open about their sexuality, and queer meetups were set up on maps throughout the city. Rumor also has it that Florence held the first ever gay bars constructed in Italy.

As of now, most of Florence is extremely accepting of the LGBTQ+ community and has long welcomed them with open arms. There aren’t as many gay bars in Florence compared to other cities, but what the city has in opposition is artwork and support. You’ll want to visit the Uffizi Gallery, a well-known art museum which features many open, and not open, LGBTQ+ artists. Some of which include Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Botticelli. As for support, LGBTQ+ travelers can find comfort and solace with the International Association of Gay & Lesbian Tourism (AITGL) which seeks to make travel for LGBTQ+ tourists safe and exciting.

Which LGBTQ+ friendly city will you visit in Italy?


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