Is Italy LGBTQIA+ friendly?

LGBTQIA+ travellers are those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (a more inclusive LGBT initialism), plus queer or questioning, intersex or asexual individuals, as well as those who identify beyond these commonly used sexuality and gender expressions. Specific situations and issues may present themselves to travellers who identify with one or more of these terms when visiting Italy.

Italy is largely accepting and welcoming of those who identify on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Travellers visiting high-touristed areas such as Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome should have no problem in expressing themselves and enjoying a hassle-free holiday.

While accepting, Italy still has a long way to go to legally recognise LGBTQIA+ residents in law. Same-sex relationships are legal and largely accepted, and civil unions have been in law since 2016. Same-sex marriage is currently not legal. Anti-discrimination laws are present in employment contexts, but in many other situations, no formal laws have been passed to protect sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBTQIA+ travellers should have no issues expressing themselves in a respectful way when in public. In more rural and regional areas, overt displays of affection can attract negative attention, as smaller towns tend to be more conservative and less accepting. Homosexuality is much more accepted in the north than the south; however, tourist hotspots, such as Capri and Taormina in Sicily, are well-known as LGBTQIA+-friendly.

LGBTQIA+ culture in Milan

Street in Italy

Milan, as a bustling city of arts, culture and fashion, has a vibrant queer scene. It has a Milan Pride event, attracting over 100,000 participants, and hosts a LGBTQIA+ Film Festival. The neighbourhood of Porta Venezia is recognised as the heart of Milan’s LGBTQIA+ culture, with Lecco Street and San Martini Street having many options for gay-friendly bars and clubs, including Leccomilano. Gate Party is a monthly gay-friendly event hosted in Milan.

LGBTQIA+ culture in Rome

Rome rooftops at night

Rome has a more low-key gay scene, with Via San Giovanni a popular hangout for LGBTQIA+ travellers. Coming Out Bar and My Bar are both popular choices, and have great views of the nearby Colosseum. Rome also plays host to its own Pride festival annually in the same region of town.

Visit for more information on what to expect in Italy, plus up-to-date news and events in Italy’s LGBTQIA+ scene.

Solo travel and room sharing

If you are travelling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travellers who do not wish to share a room.  

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or ILGA before you travel.

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