Purple Roofs Gay Travel Newsletter August 2012 – Tuscany, Italy

Published Date Author: , August 5th, 2012

Mark and ScottWelcome to the Purple Roofs Newsletter for August, 2012!

We launched an all new version of the Purple Roofs gay travel site earlier this year, and now we’re updating the newsletter as well. We’ve broken our travel articles section into four parts – general travel news, travel event news (including upcoming events and reviews and photos of past events), articles by our travel blogger friend Carlos Melia, and finally sweepstakes and contests.

We’ve got lots of other great stuff for you this month, too – including our travelogs from third week in Italy, in Florence & Tuscany. You’ll also find feature articles on Tunica, MS; Lebanon; San Diego; Minneapolis; Miami; and Summer Travel. We’re also featuring a number of other gay travel articles from around the world.

Finally, you’ll find some great accommodation specials and discounts, tons of upcoming gay travel events, and much more.

Connextions Magazine

Our August Newsletter Sponsor:

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We offer a unique design, fabulous layouts and show-stopping photography, along with editorial content to enlighten, inspire, educate and inform.

The digital subscription is always FREE. Visit our website for more information.

Visit the Connextions Magazine website here.

Our Featured Articles This Month:

by Don and Ray, Gay Travelers
We know, we know, why would we want to travel to Mississippi, which according to Yahoo.com is one of the 4 most HOMOPHOBIC States in the country? Well, our wonderful str8 neighbors and best friends gave us a bus trip to Tunica, Mississippi as a 41st Anniversary gift. They also went with us. So off we go in a charter bus with 46 mature passengers and the two of us. Tunica is 475 miles from Kansas City and after stopping a couple of times for rest stops and once for lunch at a Bob Evans restaurant UGH!

Gay LebanonThe Gay Life in Lebanon
by Briand Bedford, Editor in Chief, Spartacus Gay Guide
Lebanon is a melting pot of European, Mediterranean, East and West cultures. The St. Georges Beach and Marina is the best example of this and is the best place for those who wish to mix and mingle with the locals. Here the hottest guys the city has to offer lounge around in their swimwear. Sadly photography is not permitted but Zaitunay Bay is THE marina in Lebanon where the largest yachts and all that goes with them can be found.

San Diego - Hillcrest & Old TownVisiting Old Town San Diego and Hillcrest
by Sanjay, Western Inn & Suites Hotel, San Diego
Old Town is a neighborhood of San Diego, California. It contains 230 acres and is bounded by Interstate 8 on the north, Interstate 5 on the west, Mission Hills on the east and Bankers Hill on the south. It is the oldest settled area in San Diego and is the site of the first European settlement in present-day California. It contains Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and Presidio Park, both of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ten Great Things to Do This SummerTen Great Things to Do This Summer
by T. Haynes, Dynamite Travel, Maitland, Florida
I think it’s safe to say that we are all glad that summer has arrived! As always, this season usually flies by especially with all the Pride festivities throughout the country. This favorite season of our will be gone before we know it! So here are 10 suggestions of great things to do this summer before it’s too late! 1. Have a picnic in the park: Yes I know it sounds cliche but how often do you visit your nearby park? What better way to enjoy a nice summer evening than to prepare a picnic meal with a nice bottle of your favorite wine with your favorite friend or loved one? For this activity you can even bring your dog!.

Gay Minneapolis5 Must-Do’s in the Mini Apple
by Jacob Marek, Wilde Traves, Miami, Florida
For my first Purple Roofs blog, I’m going to start out a bit differently. Going forward, I plan to write about what I do on a daily basis – gay travel in off-the-beaten-path destinations. For this blog post, however, I want to introduce you to a city near and dear to my heart – my former hometown of Minneapolis (listed as the “Gayest City in America” in 2011 by The Advocate). Having just recently visited for their annual Pride celebration, I was reminded just how gay it truly is!

Miami NiceMiami Nice!
by Nathalie Carby, Casa Carby, Miami, Florida
There are very few places in the world where you can truly enjoy a perfect gay-friendly vacation. Enter Miami, one of the best destinations to swim the day then dance the night away. New York might be the city that never sleeps, but Miami Beach is the party that never stops! From beautiful, sunny beaches (full of beautiful, famous people!) to a decadent nightlife, there’s always something exciting to do on the beach. But for those looking outside the sand and fun in the sun, visitors can skinny dip their senses into the burgeoning art-scene in Wynwood and the Design District.

Italy Week Three: Florence and Tuscany

In May, we spent three weeks exploring Italy – through Emilia Romagna, Rome, and northern Tuscany. This month, we bring you the final week – our time in Florence and Tuscany.

On the Way to FlorenceOn the Way to Florence
This morning was our last day in Rome. Mark and I got up late, for us – 7:30 in the morning – to pack our suitcases and check our email. Marco and Fabry have limited trunk space, so we had to pack very carefully to fit in everything we’d brought with us and the things we’d bought in Rome, including books and DVDs.

MonteriggioniTuscany Day Two: Monteriggioni, The Little Tuscan Hill Town
We woke up in the morning in our new digs, Il Pioggiolo delle Rose, to a wonderful buffet breakfast in the sala da pranzo (dining room) across the little courtyard from our apartment – complete with warm brioche (like crescent rolls, some with chocolate), and a selection of meats, cheeses, rolls, cereal, coffee and fresh juice.

The Bell Tower of SienaTuscany Day Two: The Bell Tower of Siena
Within 15 minutes of leaving Monteriggioni, we arrived on the outskirts of Siena, and found parking about a kilometer from the storico centro. We walked up a street that resembled many others here in Italy – a little old, a little run down – until we reached the historic city wall.

San GimignanoTuscany Day Two: The Towers of San Gimignano
After Siena and too few hours of sleep, Mark and I were exhausted, and slept on the way to our next destination, San Gimignano, our friend Bella’s favorite Tuscan hill town. San Gimignano is a beautiful city – we parked in a small lot just outside the centro storico, and walked in… the gate, of course, was covered for restoration.

Lucca & the RainTuscany Day Three: Lucca and the Rain
We woke up excited today after a much needed sleep – today’s the day we meet our friend Bella for dinner! We started the day with another delicious breakfast at Il Poggiolo delle Rose – and I tried two new things – green apple yogurt (continuing the theme) and vanilla tea – both really good, by the way.

Dinner w Bella in FirenzeTuscany Day Three: Dinner With Bella in Firenze
After Lucca, we returned home to the B&B for an hour to shower and relax, and then went on to Florence for dinner with Bella. We caught the bus at the corner, and it was, of course, ten minutes late and packed. After a slow commute into town, we arrived at Palazzo Pitti, a museum full of lovely murals fronting a garden with fantastic Florence views, and went to the ticket office, which was supposed to close at 6, at about 5:35 PM to get our passes for the Florence Museums.

Pitti Palace, UffiziTuscany Day Four: Pitti Palace, Uffizi, Accademia
Once again, we slept in and got a bit of a late start, setting out after breakfast at Pioggiolo delle Rose at about 10:15 AM. We were running a little late because someone (not me) lost the little card that gives us access to and from the property via the main gate, and of course, today – unlike yesterday – the bus into Florence was apparently right on time, and we missed it by about 3 minutes.

Arezzo, ItalyTuscany Day Five: We Visit Arezzo (Sort-Of)
We set out this morning after breakfast for the outlet stores about 45 minutes away – after all, it was a Monday, and most of the museums in Florence were going to be closed for the day. Such is life in Italy. Also, we had cancelled our planned trip to Arezzo because of the ongoing rains.

FlorenceTuscany Day Six: Museo degli Argenti
A pleasant surprise when we woke up this morning – some blue skies! After several days of rain, Tuesday, our last full day in Tuscany, dawned with a beautiful mix of fluffy clouds and blue skies. We had our usual breakfast at Il Poggiolo delle Rose, and hopped on the bus back to Florence’s centro storico.

Palazzo Vecchio

Tuscany Day Six: Palazzo Vecchio
After the Pitti Palace, we crossed the Ponte Vecchio for the third time (and I have some more photos to prove it). We also managed to snap a pic of so done suntanning down by the river’s edge.

Florence Gay BarsTuscany Day Six: Looking for Gay Bars in Florence
We set off in search of our second gay bar of the day, Piccolo Cafe (borgo Santa Croce 23/r) – it was also closed so early in the day, but we did find it. Starting from the Palazzo Vecchio and the Piazza della Signora, the easiest way to get here is to follow the street that leads out of the Piazza on the southeastern side (just past David) east – it’s called Via della Ninna.

Palazzo StrozziTuscany Day Six: Palazzo Strozzi
Our final Museum of the day (and probably the trip) was the Museo Strozzi, with two exhibits related to America. The first one was a blend of American and Italian impressionists – painters who depicted Italy after the liberation, when the culture of this country really came alive.

Dinner and a Bad Movie in FlorenceTuscany Day Six: (Bad) Dinner and a Movie in Florence
Since we planned to make a late night of it with a movie at the local LGBT center, we relaxed at Il Poggiolo delle Rose until about 7:30 PM. After a shower and a fresh change of clothes, we drove over to the Western edge of Florence’s historic quarter.

An American Grocery Shopping in ItalyAn American Grocery Shopping in Italy
Back in Forli, finally, with Marco and Fabry, for the final short leg of our visit to Italy. Fabry took us shopping at his local grocery store, and we thought we’d take the opportunity to point out a few key differences for the American Traveler buying groceries in Italy.

Forli FarewellForli Farewell
We spent our first few days here in Forli visiting other places – it was a bit strange being in a place but not really BEING in a place, if you know what I mean. But finally we had a free evening, and Marco, Mark and I took a short walk into the storico centro. The historic center of Forli is both beautiful and undiscovered by tourists. In the heart of the historic center, there’s a gorgeous central plaza, where you’ll find the statue of Aurelio Saffi, hero of Forli and the liberation of Italy. There’s also the church of La Chiesa del Suffragio, a beautiful, simple church that makes for some great photos. The city administration building (il commune) runs along the western side of the plaza. It’s a picture-perfect setting.

More Gay Travel News

We also scour the web to bring you all the gay travel news we can find. You can see these posts on a daily basis at http://www.purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog, or sign up for our RSS feed. Here are some of our favorites from the last month:

General News

AUSTRALIA: Gold Coast Gay Tourism Campaign Yanks Crotch Shot
An Australian tourism campaign aimed at gay travelers yanked an ad after media outlets became, er, engorged over the phallocentric image, reports The Australian.

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA: Gay Couple Wins B&B Discrimination Case
The Canadian bed-and-breakfast owners who denied service to a gay male couple because of their personal religious beliefs must pay a fine of more than $4,500, the human rights tribunal of British Columbia ruled last week.

NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA: Whales, Icebergs, and a Sea Monster?
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked how I wound up traveling through Central Newfoundland, I’d have a tidy little sum piled up in just a few days.

ONTARIO, CANADA: Passport Magazine’s Favorite Toronto Restaurants
Toronto has seen its share of shiny new developments over the past decade, like the Toronto International Film Festival’s all-in-one Bell Lightbox complex in 2010 and last year’s Ritz-Carlton opening.

COSTA RICA: Introducing a New Blogger: Mandy
Greetings from beautiful Costa Rica! I am thrilled to be a new addition to the Purple Roofs blog!

GEORGIA: An Unlikely Gay Travel Destination
Homosexuality has been legal in Georgia since 2000. And in April of this year Presidential Mikheil Saakashvili signed an addition to the Georgian Criminal Code making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

GREECE: Exploring the Greek Isles
Easily reached via land or sea, the Greek Isles are favorite destinations for many Europeans as well as tourists from around the world.

GUATEMALA: UFO Sighting in Antigua Guatemala
Most mornings I have my first cup of coffee on my rooftop terrace so that I can take in the beauty of the three volcanoes that surround Antigua Guatemala, my home now for five years.

GUATEMALA: Beach Adventures
Kayak Lake Atitlan, a ‘water wonder’ surrounded by authentic Mayan villages, or deep-sea fish Guatemala’s beautiful Pacific Coast which boasts the highest concentration of Sailfish on the planet!

GUATEMALA: Guatemala Living – Residency for Dummies
Having lived in beautiful, historic Antigua Guatemala for 5 years now, I thought I might help some of my “future neighbors” out there with a few simple tips about residency options here – thus Guatemala Residency for Dummies:

GUATEMALA: Antigua – Happy 488th Birthday!
Happy 488th Birthday to my city…La Antigua Guatemala means “The Old Guatemala” and the city called by that name today was the third capital of Guatemala.

ISRAEL: Tel Aviv on a Budget
Although Tel Aviv is considered to be one of the most expensive cities at the moment, there are many ways to survive it without mortgaging your kidney.

SICILY, ITALY: Evita Treasures in Palermo Museum
Nobody knows for sure at what point Maria Eva Duarte de Peron became known as Evita and similarly when she became a gay icon.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia – The Great Britain of Asia
Malaysia is like the Great Britain of Asia. Not for its temperamental and unpredictable weather, but for its multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society.

SPAIN: How To Get The Cheapest Flights to ‘Costa Del Sol’
These days you can get some seriously great deals on your flights, if you know what you are doing.

SWEDEN: Stockholm Combines Modern Vitality With Traditional Charm
Home to international icons including IKEA and H&M, Stockholm is a vibrant city filled with great people, great food and lots of activities for the LGBT community.

SWEDEN: Five Days in Stockholm
I arrived in Stockholm for what would be the start of a seven-week journey through Europe.

THAILAND: Riding on the Orient Express
Beads of sweat trickle down my forehead on a muggy night in Bangkok when I realize I’m late for the Eastern & Oriental Express train.

SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM: Stepping Back in Time – Scotland
One of the advantages of a personal tour is the accessibility and flexibility that this type of tours allows.

THAILAND: What to Do in Thailand
Where I Went: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui in Thailand

THAILAND: Thailand Embracing Luxury Gay Travel
When I was first presented the opportunity to visit Thailand, I was somewhat reluctant to go.

USA: New Amtrak Ads Feature Gay Families
J.C. Penney did it and now so has Amtrak. It has launched a promotional campaign that includes gay families.

CALIFORNIA, USA: Author Michelle Tea Gives Her Inside Tips on San Francisco 
For 15 years, San Francisco author Michelle Tea has spearheaded Sister Spit, a loose collaborative of roadtripping queer writers and performers.

CALIFORNIA, USA: San Diego’s More Than Just Hillcrest
While most Pride activities center around the community of Hillcrest, there are so many other areas of interest in the great city of San Diego.

CALIFORNIA, USA: San Diego Could Become a Gay Travel Hub
New York has Broadway, Las Vegas boasts hip pool parties and a dynamic night life, L.A. has Hollywood, and San Diego has SeaWorld, the zoo and … Hillcrest.

CALIFORNIA, USA: Sonoma Wine Country Rolls Out the Red Carpet for LGBT Tourists
Though the rainbow flag has long flown along the banks of the Russian River, increasing numbers of Sonoma County businesses are rolling out the pink carpet for gay tourists.

CALIFORNIA, USA: One More Reason SF is for Foodies
Folks around the country are always making light of San Franciscans’ fetishistic foodies.

CALIFORNIA, USA: San Francisco for Free
It’s no secret that you can drop a lot of cash seeing the sights of San Francisco. After all, this is the home of the Gold Rush.

CALIFORNIA, USA: Wandering Through West Hollywood
In my first visit to the West Coast in many years, I decided to venture out to the land of dreams, Los Angeles, California and more specifically, West Hollywood.

CALIFORNIA, USA: The Beautiful Sonoma Coast
With temperatures in Roseville reaching over 100 degrees F. this week, I decided it was time to run away from home…again.

COLORADO, USA: Rafting the Colorado
Urban Dictionary defines a braincation as “a vacation for your brain to escape stress.”

HAWAII, USA: Oahu is Hawaii’s Gay Tourism Gem
Let’s dispense with the somewhat snobbish notion that Oahu is just for tourists and that true travelers venture to Hawaii’s less cultivated and populated islands of Maui and Kauai.

MISSOURI, USA: St. Louis – Gateway to the Gay West
St. Louis, commonly referred to as “The Gateway to the West” is home to some of the country’s most recognizable corporations including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Edward Jones Investments Energizer, and of course, the city’s most popular company, Anheuser-Busch.

MISSOURI, USA: The Gay Side of Columbia, Missouri
For most people, Columbia is a pit stop on the I-70 trek from St. Louis to Kansas City.

NEVADA, USA: Krave Entertainment to Open World’s Biggest Gay Club in Las Vegas
An empty Las Vegas multiplex is set to become what developers are saying will be the world’s largest gay nightclub.

NEVADA, USA: Honeymooning in Vegas
“I love Vegas,” he said, emphasis on the verb, his voice a mixture of awe, enthusiasm – and relief at finding himself (again) in the world’s most spectacular adult playground.

NEW YORK, USA: Sullivan County Increasingly a Gay Travel Destination
The most powerful elected official in Sullivan County is gay.

NEW YORK, USA: Reporting From Fire Island
This past weekend in Fire Island was great.

NEW YORK, USA: Davey Wavey at the Out NYC
As someone that spends quite a bit of time in NYC, I was admittedly a bit excited to try The Out NYC-which is billed as the first “straight-friendly hotel and entertainment complex in New York City.”

NEW YORK, USA: Summer in New York State
From the Big Apple Circus and other special events to the latest and greatest hotels to stay in, things to do and places to eat, New York State is booming this summer with openings, new attractions and entertainment, major renovations, restorations and improvements.

NORTH CAROLINA, USA: Durham, North Carolina Courts Gay Travelers
In May, North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

RHODE ISLAND, USA: Davey Wavey Visits Newport, Rhode Island for the Fourth of July
In the spirit of the July 4th holiday, I visited the historic island of Newport, RI to get my red, white and blue on.

VERMONT, USA: Vermont’s Summertime Festivals
Vibrant, active, gorgeous and memorable are just a few descriptions for the days that lie ahead.

VIRGINIA, USA: The Girl’s Guide to Richmond, Virginia
I feel like the state of Virginia has earned itself a bad reputation.

WASHINGTON, USA: Make a Cool Escape to Portland or Seattle
Make a cool escape to the Pacific Northwest’s Portland and Seattle, two cities that invite travelers to chill along the water be it lake, ocean, or river or explore the great outdoors in the wide open forests, hang out at a local coffee shop, or groove to the new sounds.

Gay Travel Site Mark’s List Gives Travelers the Jump on 14 Gay Friendly Cities
“Simply put,” said Mark Haines, “Mark’s List is a fabulous and fun, curated online travel and local entertainment site.”

GuySpy Releases New Gay Travel More
GuySpy, the top-ranked mobile gay dating app for iPhone and Android, has made some its most popular features free to its members.

Gay Event Updates:

AUSTRALIA: CoastOut Celebrates Third Anniversary in October
One of the freshest Festivals to hit the Gay & Lesbian Social calendar in the past couple of years is Australia’s CoastOut Festival.

AUSTRIA: Pink Lake Festival Celebrates Fifth Year in August
The fifth annual Pink Lake international LGBT festival will be held at Velden am Woerthersee, a picturesque market town in the Austrian state of Carinthia, situated on the western shore of Lake Woerthersee.

BRAZIL: Rio Pride Coming in October
This October 14th, the heat that you’ve been longing to feel will overwhelm you as Rio’s Famous Pride Parade hits the scene.

ONTARIO, CANADA: Toronto Gay Pride 2012 in Review
“We call this a loonie,” she said, holding the coin to the sunlight.

QUEBEC, CANADA: Montreal Gay Pride Coming Up in August
August 13-19, 2012 the city of Montreal will be beaming as it shows off its’ amazing sense of pride!

CZECH REPUBLIC: Prague Gay Pride Coming in August
A bright beacon of social progress and the struggle for equal rights in Eastern Europe, Prague’s second annual Gay Pride celebrations are taking place this year between 13 and 19 August.

DENMARK: Copenhagen: 2012 Pride With a Purpose Party to Benefit Amnesty International
Allrightscph presents “Pride With a Purpose” in collaboration with Amnesty International Denmark, Copenhagen Pride, and Kbiii.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Police Ban National Flags at Gay Pride Parade
Pride month in the Dominican Republic has been allowed since 2006, however its never been fully accepted.

GERMANY: Frankfurt Gay Pride 2012 in Photos
Bert and Ernie may not have officially led the 20th annual Frankfurt Pride parade Saturday afternoon, but they were definitely two of the most popular marchers among the 2,000 or so people who wound their way through the city center for what’s known in Germany as CSD, or Christopher Street Day.

GREECE: Fourth Annual Xlsior Festival Takes Over Mykonos in August
XLSIOR MYKONOS is the most exclusive international gay leisure festival, launched in September 2009 on the famous island of Mykonos.

HUNGARY: Budapest Pride Goes Off Without a Hitch
Budapest Pride 2012 took place safely on Saturday despite earlier threats and the mayor’s unwillingness to support the event.

NETHERLANDS: Hundreds of Thousands Crowd Amsterdam for Gay Pride
Hundreds of thousands of gay rights supporters thronged Amsterdam’s canals for the city’s annual boat float parade, a party marking the high point of Gay Pride week.

SPAIN: Madrid Pride in Photos
Madrid has one of the most eye-catching gay Pride celebrations in the world

SPAIN: Barcelona’s Ten Day “Circuit” Begins
Danny Hilton talks to Tes Cuadreny, Communications Manager & Girlie Circuit Director, about Circuit Festival Barcelona – in the first of two parts, we find out how Circuit started, what it involves and how such an event is holding up in the economic crisis.

SPAIN: More on Barcelona’s “Circuit”
Danny Hilton talks to Tes Cuadreny (Communication Manager & Girlie Circuit Director) about Circuit Festival Barcelona – in the second of two parts, we get the lo-down on Circuit rival events, Girlie Circuit and smash some Circuit party stereotypes.

SWEDEN: Southern Decadence Reaches $1 Billion in Economic Impact This Year
The 41st Southern Decadence celebration of Gay Life, Music & Culture heralds in the end of summer with a huge economic impact for the community and New Orleans over Labor Day Weekend, August 29th through September 1st this year.

ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM: Derbyshire Pride Delayed By Flooding
Derbyshire’s Pride event on Saturday was postponed at the last minute due to the flooding experienced across the north of England.

ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM: Bristol Pride Ends on an Upbeat Note
Despite a grey and dismal start to the day – and a rival march by the English Defence League that claimed to be supporting LGBT rights – Bristol Pride concluded its week-long celebrations on an upbeat note, with a parade and free outdoor festival on College Green, between Council House and Cathedral.

SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM: Glasgow Pride Breaks Attendance Records
Attendance records were shattered at Scotland’s biggest LGBT event, Glasgow Pride. According to The Glaswegian more than 6,000 people attended the event, breaking previous attendance records.

VIETNAM: Vietnam Hosts First Ever Gay Pride Celebration
Rainbow flags streamed through the streets of Hanoi on Sunday as the city hosted Vietnam’s first-ever gay pride parade.

CALIFORNIA, USA: San Diego Gay Pride 2012 in Photos
Thousands lined the streets of San Diego for the Californian city’s Pride parade this weekend, the first such parade in US history where armed forces personnel have been allowed to wear their uniforms.

HAWAII, USA: Maui Pride Coming in October
This October, let the tropical shores of beautiful Maui be your premiere pride destination.

LOUISIANA, USA: Southern Decadence Coming to New Orleans in Late August
“The Big Easy,” the nickname often bestowed on New Orleans, suggests a slow-paced, easygoing lifestyle.

MASSACHUSETTS, USA: Provincetown’s Bear Week 2012 in Photos
In Provincetown, bears never hibernate for too long: From July 6 to 15, thousands of furry folks frolicked through the seaside resort during Ptown’s annual Bear Week.

VERMONT: Pride Vermont 2012 Events Announced
The Pride Vermont Committee announced its plans today for the state’s annual Pride Vermont celebration, scheduled for September 21-22, 2012.

Carlos Melia

Carlos Melia at London’s World Pride
Last Saturday, we celebrated the World Gay Pride 2012 in London.

Carlos Melia Visits Bath, The Cotswolds, and Stratford-Upon-Avon
I have just returned to the United States, after three amazing weeks touring around Europe, which included a week and a half in England.

Carlos Melia Reviews British Airways World Traveler Plus
Very comfortable seats, fabulous entertainment system, fairly good gourmet options… but the most unfriendly and rude service I have experienced in the last few years, shocked specially coming from an European carrier.

Carlos Melia on Fire Island
Once again another lovely, relaxing, fun and social weekend in Fire Island.

The House Hotels my favorites in Istanbul
If you are looking for the premium boutique, design, chic hotel experience while in Istanbul, then you should choose The House Hotels, with their three locations in the city, all on the European side.

72 Hours in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, to me, is one of those destinations in the world, that should be on the MUST priority on your Basic 101 Gay Travel Bucket List.

Carlos Melia – From Puerto Rico to Vieques
Hi there everyone, reporting from Vieques, where we are spending a fabulous weekend celebrating Rubin’s BDAY. More photos on Facebook.

Heading back after and amazing weekend in Vieques
After a lovely weekend in Vieques at the W Retreat and Spa, we are heading back to New York city.

Weekend getaway at the W Retreat & Spa Vieques
Just back from a lovely weekend at the W Retreat & Spa in Vieques, only 30 minutes away by plane from Puerto Rico main island.

Vieques Air Link the best connection from Puerto Rico
When we decided that the W Retreat & Spa Vieques, was going to be our next getaway for a weekend, I began my research on way to get from Puerto Rico to the island of Vieques.

Vieques Island A Great Summer Getaway
Last weekend was my boyfriend’s birthday and the request was clear and simple, a summer weekend getaway.

South Africa’s Hidden Capes
When you come to South Africa, and visit Cape Town, I am sure what first comes to your mind is game viewing, a safari at Kruger Park or driving along the coast of the Garden Route.

Travel Sweepstakes:

Win a Strada Bicycle From Element Hotels (Sept 17)
Promoting balanced living at home and away, Element Hotels is challenging its Facebook friends to put pedal to the pavement this summer and replace one car trip per week with a bike ride.

Win a European Trip From Lufthansa (Aug 31)
Looking to win a European getaway for two? If you answered yes (and most likely you did) then look no further than Lufthansa.

Win a Trip to New York (Aug 27)
1. See the entire city from the Empire State Building
Soaring 1,454 feet above the busy streets of midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building offers spectacular 80-mile views and is the most photographed landmark in the world.

Win a Trip for Two to Miami’s White Party (Sept 1)
2 V.I.P Tickets to Winter Party on November 24, 2012 (includes premium seating and open bar all night)

Gay Travel Events in August, September and October:

Check out our new events calendar, where we list gay events around the world – http://www.purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-events.html. Here are the events for the next two months:

  • Australia, VIC, Mount Hotham: Aug 16-Aug 20, Frosty Fruits Ski Trip – Australia’s Gay & Lesbian (short) Ski Week 2012, Hotham Alpine Resort. http://bit.ly/b4h1Lj
  • Canada, BC, Kelowna: Aug 12-Aug 19, Okanagan Pride Festival 2012, 1476 Water St. http://bit.ly/KxIhK2
  • Canada, BC, Vancouver: Aug 16-Aug 19, New West Pride / Royal City Pride 2012. http://bit.ly/9eREpO
  • Canada, QC, Montreal: Oct 25-Nov 4, image+nation, Montreal International LGBT Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/j3Ti7d
  • Denmark, Copenhagen: Aug 18, Pride With a Purpose w/Amnesty International, 10 PM. http://bit.ly/QKW3ft
  • Denmark, Copenhagen: Oct 19-Oct 28, MIX COPENHAGEN | LesbianGayBiTrans Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/jKrh94
  • England, London: Aug 3-Aug 12, Pride House Festival for 2012 Olympics, CA House, Limehouse Basin. http://bit.ly/NTsB2f
  • France, St. Etienne: Nov 22-Nov 25, FACE a FACE Festival du film gay et lesbien de Saint-Etienne 2012. http://bit.ly/kzKnxN
  • France, Ile de France, Paris: Sep 14, European Symposium on Gay & Lesbian Tourism. http://bit.ly/HruLYF
  • France, Ile de France, Paris: Oct 5-Oct 14, Paris Gay, Lesbian, Trans Film Festival – Cheries-Cheris 2012. http://bit.ly/k1zj3D
  • France, Ile de France, Paris: Oct 31-Nov 4, Paris International Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/lMxl6E
  • Germany, Hamburg: Oct 16-Oct 21, Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg | International Queer Film Festival 2011. http://bit.ly/lDMy8a
  • Italy, Bologna: Oct 27-Nov 3, Gender Bender Festival Internazionale Bologna 2012. http://bit.ly/jQ67U9
  • Italy, Emilia Romagna, Bologna: Sep 20-Sep 23, Some Prefer Cake – Bologna Lesbian Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/lvXE5H
  • Japan, Tokyo: Sep 14-Sep 17, Tokyo International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/MgPLAl
  • Mexico, QRO, Cancun: Sep 6-Sep 9, International Expo & Business LGBT Cancun 2012. http://bit.ly/yRThPA
  • Mexico, Yucatan, Merida: Nov 8-Saturday 2, Fancinegay – Cine Gay y Lesbico Extremadura 2012. http://bit.ly/iNcUIw
  • New Zealand, South Island, Queenstown: Aug 25-Sep 1, Gay Ski Week Queenstown 2012. http://bit.ly/uenoFI
  • Norway, Oslo: Sep 14-Sep 19, Skeive filmer/Oslo Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/dRJimy
  • South Africa, Gauteng, Johannesburg: Oct 19-Oct 28, Out in Africa Film Festival 2012 Part 3. http://bit.ly/fVy6D9
  • South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town: Oct 19-Oct 28, Out in Africa Film Festival 2012 Part 3. http://bit.ly/fVy6D9
  • Spain, Lisbon: Sep 21-Sep 29, Queer Lisboa / Lisbon Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/hJhPSP
  • Switzerland, Geneva: Sep 21-Sep 30, Everybody’s Perfect – Festival du film gay et lesbien (LGBTIQ) de Geneve 2012. http://bit.ly/lK1jax
  • USA, AR, Eureka Springs: Aug 4-Aug 6, Eureka Springs Pride & Summer Diversity Weekend 2012. http://bit.ly/H4trrv
  • USA, AR, Eureka Springs: Oct 27-Oct 30, Eureka Springs Pride – Fall Diversity Weekend 2012. http://bit.ly/H4trrv
  • USA, CA, Eureka: Sep 9, Humboldt Pride Festival and Parade 2012, Halvorsen Park. http://bit.ly/feozxw
  • USA, CA, Oakland: Aug 10-Aug 14, Oakland International Black LGBT Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/ce5abU
  • USA, CA, Palm Springs: Sep 20-Sep 23, The Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/g1VYwr
  • USA, CA, San Diego: Oct 13, North County Pride 2012, Betty’s Lot, 11 AM-6 PM. http://bit.ly/186zuu
  • USA, CA, San Francisco: Oct 31-Nov 2, 13th Annual Conference on Gay and Lesbian Tourism. http://bit.ly/H8Eoqw
  • USA, CA, San Francisco: Oct 31-Nov 2, International Conference on Gay & Lesbian Tourism. http://bit.ly/TR2Ps
  • USA, CA, Santa Barbara: Nov 8-Nov 11, OUTrageous: The Santa Barbara LGBTQ Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/kagU5H
  • USA, FL, Ft. Lauderdale: Oct 4-Oct 7, Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/hardm
  • USA, FL, Ft. Lauderdale: Oct 28-Nov 4, Poz Cruise – Gay and Lesbian HIV Cruise Retreat. http://bit.ly/q8OzpD
  • USA, FL, Miami: Oct 4-Oct 7, Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2011. http://bit.ly/lOeNqu
  • USA, HI, Wailuku, Maui: Oct 5-Oct 7, Maui Pride 2012, Maui Tropical Plantation. http://bit.ly/NuK4fK
  • USA, MN, Minneapolis: Oct 5-Oct 7, Gaylaxicon 2012, Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place. http://bit.ly/MEDPJC
  • USA, NC, Charlotte: Sep 21-Sep 23, Charlotte Festival in the Park 2012, Freedom Park. http://bit.ly/19N8un
  • USA, NC, Durham: Aug 10-Aug 19, North Carolina Annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/eYcgcs
  • USA, NC, Victoria: Oct 11-Oct 12, Travel Gay Canada 2012 LGBT Tourism Conference. http://bit.ly/Ncbmv5
  • USA, NJ, Asbury Park: Sep 24, Garden State Rainbow Pride Festival 2012, Asbury Park. http://bit.ly/LIHrYc
  • USA, NJ, Jersey City: Aug 18, Hudson Pride Parade and Festival 2012, City Hall, 11 AM-7 PM. http://bit.ly/pRxxXt
  • USA, NM, Albuquerque: Sep 28-Oct 7, Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/nBc5l2
  • USA, NV, Las Vegas: Sep 6-Sep 9, Shedonism – Women’s Weekend 2012, Rumor Resort. http://bit.ly/pKuwhY
  • USA, NV, Reno: Aug 18, Reno Gay Pride Festival 2012, Wingfield Park, 11 AM-6 PM. http://bit.ly/mvCO6
  • USA, NY, Rochester: Oct 5-Oct 14, ImageOut The Rochester Lesbian & Gay Film & Video Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/m9cbZz
  • USA, OH, Cincinnati: Sep 9, Cincinnatti Gay Pride at Kings Island 2012, Kings Island, 6 PM-12 AM. http://bit.ly/cp2qso
  • USA, OR, Eugene: Aug 11, Eugene/Springfield Pride 2012, Alton Baker Park, 12-7 PM. http://bit.ly/fmjPT3
  • USA, OR, Portland: Sep 28-Oct 6, Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/ew89jA
  • USA, PA, Allentown: Aug 19, Pride of thew Greater Lehigh Valley 2012, Cedar Beach Park. http://bit.ly/ecUH51
  • USA, PA, Pittsburgh: Oct 14-Oct 23, Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/irkLhX
  • USA, TN, Memphis: Oct 6, Mid-South Pride Festival and Parade 2012, Robert Church Park. http://bit.ly/OM3iUJ
  • USA, TX, Austin: Oct 4-Oct 7, Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/hujZG9
  • Uruguay, : Sep 1-Sep 8, LLAMALEH – Uruguay International Film Festival of Sexual and Gender Diversity 2012. http://bit.ly/qT1bG

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That’s it for this month – enjoy the newsletter!

Mark & Scott

PurpleRoofs – http://www.purpleroofs.com

PO Box 4666, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

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