Bologna was the Italian capital of civil rights. The gay movement was born in this city in the early 1970’s thanks to many activists who came here to study.
Due to its history, the city has alway been open-minded. Bologna is a university city that has always attracted every type of person and everyone here is welcome! Walking around the streets you can meet guys holding their hands and kissing each other.
Discovering the gay history of Italy is one of the most authentic things you could do here and the city has much to offer for those who want to know more about it.
This reason alone is why you could spend an entire day experiencing the history of the Italian LGBT movement just by walking in the streets of Bologna.
Gay Landmarks in Bologna
Start your visit from the Piazza Maggiore where you can find Accursio Palace, the City Hall of Bologna. In the rooms of this building an important woman has walked and help the gay community. Marcella di Folco was the first transexual woman communal councilor in all of Europe and from this room she helped the Italian gay community by spreading the cause. This is also the square where the Pride parade usually ends up and where the main pride events take place.
Walking in the direction of the Neptune statue you will find, on the right, the city library Salaborsa. This is a landmark for every student, and in its rooms are kept some important documents for gay people. Opposite to Salaborsa you can discover Palazzo Re Enzo. This is the place where most of the gay events and cultural festivals take place every year.
Near the leaning towers of Bologna (in via Castiglione 24) the first gay culture group of the city was founded. The Collettivo Frocialista Bolognese was a fundamental focus point for gay people to meet each other and start the foundations of the movement.
Discovering Gay Bologna From Gardens to Clubs
Just few meters from via Castiglione you can find a famous city park: Giardini Margherita. This is the best place to get your strength back and continue to discover the gay history of Bologna. Not far from the here you can visit the Pier Paolo Pasolini’s house. He was one of the best Italian directors, writers and intellectuals in the gay community.
One important spot for the gay people in Bologna is the Garden Stefano Casagrande, dedicated to one of the gay activists of the 1980’s. The garden is located near two other important spots: Cassero LGBT Center and Lumiere Theater. The Lumiere Theater was the place where the annual queer festival Gender Bender takes place.
The Cassero LGBT Center is the main gay institution of the city and it’s the association that organizes the Pride parade, festivals and parties around the city.
Just before the end of your walking tour, make sure to see the only monument in Italy dedicated to gay victims of the Nazi during the WWII. You can find it in the Garden of Cassarini Villa.
No visit of the gay Bologna could be complete without spending a night having fun in one of the many clubs, bar and parties that take place in the city.