Oscar Wilde Tours – New York Gay Tour Operator

Author: , March 17th, 2018

Oscar Wilde Tours

Luxury guided tours focused on gay history. Exclusive experiences, including visits to places normally closed to the public and lectures by prominent gay authors and performers. Our 2014 tour follows Oscar Wilde’s life from Dublin to Paris. Gay Italy in 2015, Greece in 2016.

Oscar Wilde’s London and Paris 2018 – England, London: The Chesterfield Mayfair, 35 Charles St.

When: Custom Website: Click Here

This 9 day tour includes 4 nights in each city. See London and Paris a whole new way: these are not only Europe’s two great metropolises, they are also its two great *gay* metropolises. From Shakespeare to Stephen Fry, King Henri III to Yves St.-Laurent, gay people have had a huge role in both cities’ histories and cultures.
Let gay historian Dr. Andrew Lear and his staff of gay guides show you both cities from the gay perspective. We will have walking tours of neighborhoods with key roles in gay history, such as Bloomsbury and the Marais; gay tours of monuments and museums, such as the National Portrait Gallery and the Louvre; and excursions to places with fascinating gay histories, such as the Castle of Chenonceau and Bletchley Park, where gay hero Alan Turing broke the Nazi’s secret codes, helping to save the Western World.

A trip which combines fun, learning, and pride. Top-level 4 star hotels, excellent (often historic) restaurants: 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 tea, 1 dinner.

See the Oscar Wilde Tours Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here


San Gimignano – Dolly Travels

Author: , March 12th, 2018

San Gimignano - Dolly Travels

Good morning, everyone,

Today I am thinking of San Gimignano. This is one of the hill towns of Tuscany. True to its designation, there are hardly any flat places in this town.

To get there, one would take a bus from Florence, change buses in Poggibonsi. You might have to wait about a half hour for the next bus, but you will have time for a cappuccino at the little cafe in the bus/train station. That is about an hour and a half trip, and a pleasant one. San Gimignano is probably the most accessible of all the hill towns, so it is a busy place. I have never taken the train to Poggibonsi, as I would still have to take the bus up the hill to San Gimignano. My bus ticket gets me all the way to San Gimignano.

Once you get to San Gimignano and get off the bus, you walk through a stone archway, up an old stone street, until you come to the main piazza.

As you walk through town, don’t expect any flat ground, for there isn’t any…well, in front of the restaurants where the tables are set up, that is pretty flat. But most of the time, you will be either walking uphill or downhill. The picture above is deceiving, for it really is going uphill.

This is a city of towers. There are 14 towers still standing, surviving from the 13th century. Tourists can now climb one of the towers. I tried it once, and had to turn back, as the staircase was built of see-through steel grating, and as the stairs spiraled up and up and up, it scared the heck out of me to look down the way I had traveled, and I could see the stone floor so far below me.

You can see the people on the tower on the right. If you don’t have a fear of heights, like I do, this is a marvelous experience, to be able to look over the countryside, and if the weather is absolutely clear, you can see all the way to Florence, for that city is only 25 miles away, as the crow flies, I do believe.

San Gimignano is busy, as I said, for many tourists are there in the daytime. I would love to stay overnight there one of these trips, and see how it feels in the evening and I would enjoy the quiet of the nighttime up there.

When I am in San Gimignano, I find places like this. I don’t feel the need to shop, unless it is at a shop where I can buy the salami that is made from the cinghiale, the wild boars that roam in the countryside nearby. That is one cold cut that I really enjoy.

However, for the most part, I wander through the cobblestone streets, through the tunnels, up the hills, and find neat little staircases.

At the main piazza, appropriately named Piazza dell Cisterna, there is the old well. This used to be the gathering spot for the locals, for most people had to come there to draw their water. It still seems to be the gathering spot for tourists, as it makes a perfect Meeting Point. Everyone should know where the well is.

There are many good restaurants and cafes in San Gimignano. There are gelato shops as well, and as I mentioned before, shops that sell the salami and cheeses. This town is also noted for its very good white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The red wine from this area is not so tasty; if you are a red wine drinker, order a Chianti from the other side of Tuscany, the area between Florence and Siena.

San Gimignano - Dolly Travels

Some of the salami with different cheeses and grissini, the little thin bread sticks. So yummy.

I hope I have given you a glimpse of San Gimignano; enough of a glimpse that you will want to go see this town for yourself. Despite this being such a touristy town, it still retains the old world feel, and if you venture through town, go up to the Rocco, a view point that has you looking south over the countryside, then go down away from the center, you will probably feel as I do, that this is a perfect hill town.

I will leave you now with this little slice of Italy. Arrivederci, until next time, when I will tell you about some other place that I love and will visit again in June.

Ciao for now,

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Tuscany Gay Travel Resources

Orvieto – Dolly Travels

Author: , February 24th, 2018

View from Orvieto - Dolly Travels

Good morning, everyone,

You can tell that I am excited about returning to Italy. I thought I might go back and read some of my blog posts where I wrote about places that I will revisit this coming June.

Orvieto - Dolly TravelsI have had Orvieto on my mind for some time. I love that hill town that is situated in Umbria, somewhere between Florence and Rome. I first visited that town in 2010, by myself. I enjoyed traveling from the train station up the hill to the old town, which sits like a giant mushroom on cliffs that overlook the newer city of Orvieto (down at ground level) and the Umbrian countryside. Now there is a funicular, a small train, that takes visitors up to the old city more quickly.

Duomo Orvieto - Dolly TravelsThe cathedral in Orvieto is one of the most strikingly beautiful churches in Italy. While it is not as ancient as some of the others, the artistic design is gorgeous. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral and was built in the 14th century A.D., in the Italian Gothic design.

One chapel at the rear of the cathedral is called the Brizio Chapel. An artist by the name of Luca Signorelli decorated the walls and the ceilings with paintings that were probably inspired by Dante’s Inferno, for they are actually downright scary. Beautiful but scary.

On a gentler note, as I walked through the town, along the city walls, I found the peaceful scene at the top of this post. This is some of the countryside, looking south, with the newer city of Orvieto in the center.

Old Church in Orvieto - Dolly TravelsNow here is an older church. This is the Chiesa di San Francesco, which sits right at the edge of a cliff at the western end of the old town. This church was dedicated in 1266 A.D. Inside it still looks very old and stark. It is kept in good repair, but I did not find it as inviting as the Duomo, the grand Cathedral.

While I was staying in Orvieto, I took a bus to another hill town, Bagnoreggio. The bus driver knew the roads, thank goodness. I had been told that the trip from Orvieto to Bagnoreggio would take an hour. This bus driver made it in 40 minutes, stopping once for a stop sign when he got to the town of Bagnoreggio. I wrote on my blog post at that time that I felt like I was on Disney’s Mr.Toad’s Wild Ride. But I arrived safe and sound, and welcomed the half hour walk that I would have across town, for my goal was to cross over a bridge to the ancient town of Civita.

When I got to the eastern edge of Bagnoreggio, I found that bridge. I don’t know what I expected, but when I looked at it, I thought, “I can’t do this.” However, I had come that far to get to that little town, and I knew I had to cross the bridge over that canyon to get there.

Civita Gateway - Dolly TravelsYes, the foot bridge does go almost straight up. My concern was walking over that canyon on that bridge, for I am afraid of heights. I walked in the center of that bridge, not daring to get too close to the edges until I was safely at the top.

Civita House - Dolly TravelsThe gateway to the city, a rock archway, was built by the Etruscans over 2,500 years ago, but was renovated, for lack of a better word, in the 7th century by the Romans.

Inside the city were the ancient stone buildings. Population is minimal, as the young people are gone, and the older citizens have by necessity, moved to Bagnoreggio, or other towns nearby.

Orvieto View - Dolly Travels

After I had toured the town, I made my way back across the bridge to the town of Bagnoreggio, where I had some lunch. In Civita, or rather, underneath the town, are still ancient caves. I did not explore them on my first trip there, but took a peek at some of them on subsequent visits.

Back in Orvieto, I relaxed for a bit before I went out to explore more of that city. This is the view from my window in my room.

Orvieto View - Dolly TravelsAnother view of Orvieto. Maybe you can get an idea of how high in elevation this town is, from this picture.

There is still more of Orvieto to explore again, and places to sit and relax, good restaurants, some who specialize in serving the wild game of the area: wild boar (cinghiale), wild birds and other meats that I did not particularly want to try, but the cinghiale salami is delicious.

Now I will leave you with this memory of mine of one of my favorite hill towns. I am looking forward to visiting Orvieto again, as well as Bagnoreggio and Civita. The bus ride promises to be just as exciting this year as it was in 2010, I am sure.

Ciao for now,

By AUTHOR – Full Story at SOURCE

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources


The House of Romeo – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 21st, 2018

House of Romeo - Keep Calm and Wander

In Verona, after I visited Casa de Giuletta (Juliet’s House), I wasted no time but walked to the house of Romeo. It’s just 3 minutes walk to and from each other. However, it took me 15 minutes to finally figure it out because the street was so quiet. I expected a bit of a crowd but I saw no one. I walked back and forth the narrow street until I asked a fashionable, middle-aged Italian guy who was talking on his phone.

Me: Scusami
The Italian: Yes?
Me: Casa di Romeo?
The Italian: You’re in front of Romeo’s house.
Me: Hmmmm? This? (Pointing at the huge, arched black door)
The Italian: Si! Yes!
Me: Aw, grazie. (Embarrassed)
The Italian: Prego. Parli Italiano?
Me: No.
The Italian: You’re Italian is good.
Me: Those are the only words I know.
The Italian: (Smiling) Ok, ciao. Enjoy Verona.
Me: Thanks again.

I was disappointed when I saw it. This is the house? Really? I have so many questions. But, then, I reminded myself that Romeo is just a fictional character of one of Shakespeare’s plays. So, my brain shut up!

A Day in Bologna – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 18th, 2018

Bologna - Keep Calm and Wander

I was in Bologna for two full days and nights. However, I only spent a day in Bologna because I spent the second day in Ravenna, a small city which is an hour and 15 minutes by train. Ravenna is a city known for its amazing mosaics, history and architecture. It’s also the final resting place of Dante, a great Italian poet, who wrote Divina Comedia (Divine Comedy).

A Day Trip. Bologna can be reached by 35 minutes by train from Florence. It’s 2 hours from Venice and an hour and a half from Verona.

Let’s just say you arrive at Bologna Centrale at 8 AM. From here, follow the scent of freshly baked brioche and coffee coming from Bar Della Stazione, a little coffee shop that provide pastry, drink and juice to all the people that are running for work. Get a creamy espresso with a full flavor of the best Italian coffee! This will wake you up from the long trip. And don’t forget to bring a bottle of water before you go to your next destination.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Bologna Gay Travel Resources

A Day in Verona – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 16th, 2018

Verona - Keep Calm and Wander

Verona lies in between Venice and Milan. So, if you’re in these two cities, it’s worth getting on the train and spend a day in Verona. Though most of us know Verona from Shakespeare’s tragic story of “Romeo and Juliet,” the city is more than its fame of the star-crossed lovers. A day in Verona won’t be enough, for sure, if you want to get to know the city more than what it is known for. However, a day is enough to have a glimpse of this peaceful, ancient city.

Travel Tip. Turn on your GPS or Google map for this self-guided walking tour. If you don’t have data on your phone, save the following places on your map so you can still use them even without the data.

As soon as you arrive at the train station, get a taxi that will take you to the bottom of the mountain / hill where the Piazzale Castel San Pietro is. Specifically tell the driver that you want to be dropped of at the bottom, across the riverside. From the base, climb the stairs and enjoy the views of Verona’s skyline as they reveal to you in every step you take. The views from the top is spectacular! You’re looking at a medieval city that seem to be untouched by modernity.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Verona Gay Travel Resources

Italy’s Other Leaning Tower – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 15th, 2018

Leaning Tower

This leaning tower of Bologna leans more than the leaning tower of Pisa. The former leans 4 degrees and the latter at 3.97 degrees. Yep, it’s just a tiny difference, really, right? However, the fame of the leaning tower of Bologna is eclipsed by the leaning tower of Pisa. Maybe, it’s because the Bologna tower doesn’t really possess the architectural beauty that we are used to seeing, compared to that of the tower in Pisa.

Architectural styles. The leaning tower of Bologna is medieval while the leaning of Pisa is Romanesque.

Which one is taller? Bologna’s tower is 97.20 meters high while Pisa’s is 58.36 meters.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Bologna Gay Travel Resources

Gay Nude Beaches in Italy – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , January 22nd, 2018

gay nude beaches in Italy

Italy is a hotbed for some of the finest men in the world who just love to bare it all at one of the country’s many gorgeous beaches.

After checking out the best gay beaches in Europe, we wanted to discover more from the Italian perspective, so we teamed up with the guys at GayFriendlyItaly.com to showcase the 5 best gay nude beaches in Italy.

One thing to note with regards to public nudity in Italy is that although it is officially illegal, in 2006 nude tanning was legalised in designated areas so you should be fine in the places we list below.

Lecciona beach in Tuscany
Lecciona beach is the most popular gay beach in Italy. It is part of the natural park of Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli.

The beach is stunning. We love it because not only is it a sandy beach (most tend to be pebbly or rocky), but it is surrounded by a gorgeous pine forest. This also makes it quite private, hence why it’s a popular spot for nudists.

Bear in mind there are no establishments here. To reach it you have to walk at least 10-15 minutes through the pinewood and sand dunes, so bring all your food, water etc with you.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 11th, 2017

Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Here are photos of my leisurely walk at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. For most tourists, they directly go to the hill where they see the bird’s eye view of the ancient ruins of the city that brought us the legend of Remus and Romulus. Some tour companies won’t include this attraction because it’s vast – and it would take time to go around.

At first, I wasn’t really impressed of the ruins I saw – until I sat down and googled its history. After 20 minutes of reading online, I walked around the lower ground and appreciated its significance to the city’s history. I see those relics with a new eye.

This archaeological site was once the residence of aristocrats and emperors. By the look of it, you’ll see that this was the centre of political and social movements at its heydays. Legend has it that Remus and Romulus were found in a cave here by the she-wolf. Romulus is believed to be the founder of the city of Rome (now you know where the city’s name come from). Caligula, that lunatic of an emperor, was killed here on a tunnel under the palaces.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Rome Gay Travel Resources

Inside the Vatican Museum – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 4th, 2017

Vatican Museum in Rome - Kep Calm and Wander

My jaw dropped inside the spectacular Vatican Museum. I can’t even find the exact words on how I felt while slowly going around. It is the best museum I’ve been to and every piece seems to be priceless. Even the minutest thing of all would cost more than my life!

I reckon that no visitors at the vatican Museum left unimpressed or shocked by its grandeur. It took me time to sink in that I was in the worlds greatest museum where art and religion is its main centrepiece.

Works of Great Artists. It seems like every Renaissance artist had left a masterpiece at Vatican Museum. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s frescoes are a must-see. Don’t miss gazing at the works of Titian, Caravaggio, Bernini, Filippo Lippi, Giotto di Bondone, Bellini, and many more.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Rome Gay Travel Resources