Known for its vibrant culture, style, and food, Italy is a favorite with all travelers. Although the gay scene in Italy is small compared to other European destinations, it is growing. Several cities boast gay-friendly accommodations, restaurants and businesses.
Venice, the historic Italian city on the water, stretches across several small islands along the Adriatic Sea in the northeast quadrant of the country. While much more subdued in terms of noise and chaos that other Italian cities such as Rome, Venice is still bustling and alive, everything you could ask for on an Italian getaway!
A trip to Venice is a trip into history. While there, you can visit numerous Gothic and Renaissance-style basilicas and palazzos, all adorned with stunning architectural decorations and artistic works by master artists like Titian and Tintoretto. There are many spectacular art galleries filled with paintings and sculptures. But art is not the only thing to appreciate in Venice.
Venice boasts an abundance of fine dining and shopping, and first-class accommodations, although you might be a bit shocked by the high prices (sometimes twice as much as other Italian cities). There are some budget options for amenities and hotels, so never fear!
Venice is a very gay-friendly destination, and there should be no worries regarding safety. While there are no gay bars or restaurants per se in Venice (though they are all pretty much gay-friendly), a quick trip to nearby Padua should satisfy any desire to partake in gay-friendly nightlife.
Venice is accessible by air to the Marco Polo Airport, from which public motorboat (vaporetto) service is the cheapest transportation across the canal to your hotel. For a steeper fee, you can always take a gondola! The Trenitalia (train) can also take you into and out of Venice. For getting around Venice, prepare to walk and take many boat rides.
Venice, Italy is filled with history, culture, and exhilaration. The gay traveler will enjoy a first-rate vacation there, where it is urbane yet friendly and chic yet down to earth.
While on Venice you should consider taking a day trip to the nearby Island of Lido. The island of Lido has historically been a retreat for poets and writers including Lord Byron. The island is a wonderful break from the crowds in Venice – a bit of serenity to return to after a day of slogging through the sensory overload of Venetian streets. Lido offers open space, fresh air and a relaxing change of scenery. With its 12km beach extending along the length of the island’s seashore, Lido is a gay-friendly destination that offers some of the least crowded coastline in the Adriatic.
How do you get there?
If you are traveling by car, you’ll be taking the ferry to Lido. At the end of the bridge that leads to Venice look for this road sign: “Tronchetto ferry-boat per il Lido”. The ferry leaves every 50 minutes. The trip takes about 35 minutes. You can travel by rail and get to Lido in about 30 minutes. If you prefer a more leisurely ride, take the fascinating Grand Canal route. If you are flying, consider arriving at Venice’s Marco Polo Airport. A boat, in connection with the flights, takes 40 minutes.