Back In Rome – Dolly Travels

Buongiorno, tutti,

Trevi Fountain - Alain

I am so happy to be back in Rome. This trip I am with my granddaughter, Heather, and her husband, Danny. We had a long, long flight from San Francisco to Rome, which not only made us all very tired, but the flight delays were stressful. However, near midnight on Wednesday, we made it to our lovely little apartment. We were hungry, too, so not long after we got the keys to the apartment, we ventured out to find food. Fortunately, Rome has several restaurants that stay open late, so we found ourselves eating pasta at nearly one o’clock in the morning.

The first sight we saw as we went in search of food was the Trevi Fountain. This lovely monument is only a block and a half from our apartment. In fact, we heard the sound of the water first, then the fountain came into view.

I had never seen the fountain with so few people around. The lighting and the sound of the gently falling water made the scene quite emotionally moving.

The following day, Danny and I ventured out to see some of Rome. I loved seeing his reaction to the city itself, as well as the sights we saw, for this was his first visit to Italy.

Danny and I walked all over that historic area of Rome, found a nice place for lunch in Campo di Fiori, then walked back to our apartment. We needed a “siesta”.

Later, Heather, Danny and I went out walking again. We stopped first for a gelato, then walked to the Spanish Steps, up to Piazza Barberini, and found a restaurant where I had been seven years ago with my grandson, Patrick and his girl friend, Kiri. After dinner we walked some more, taking Heather back to the Pantheon area and to Piazza Navona. We ventured over to Campo di Fiori for a drink, then home again.

Our days have been filled to the brim with activity. Over the past three days we have been to the Colosseum, the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica, Borghese Galleria, Piazza Della Popolo, across the river to Trastevere.

Last night, after a lovely dinner near the Pantheon, I wanted the kids to see the Isola Tiberina, the island in the middle of the Tiber River. Lo and behold, we found an entirely new activity, for lack of a better word. Right down next to the river, on the Trastevere side, were tent-like structures, each one a different business. Many were restaurants or bars, a couple of hookah bars, a carnival area, with some clowns and games for kids, shops with clothings, jewelry, etc., etc. This area follows the river edge for about two miles. It was fun to walk along and watch the nighttime activity. The place was hopping.

Now we are packed and ready to go to Sorrento for a couple of days. I will try to blog more often, but we have been busy. Danny kept track of our miles of walking. We got in over 9 miles each day on Thursday and Friday; yesterday we walked 10-1/2 miles, and lots of stairs. I made the comment that I would be skinny as a rail when I get back home, but I think the gelato and the good food are going to balance out the calories lost in walking.

Ci vediamo presto. We will see each other soon.

Ciao for now,


By Dolly – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Rome Gay Travel Resources

Queer Lisbon: The San Francisco of Europe – Gay Star News

Queer Lisbon

Shades of flawless turquoise and rusty orange flood my vision, as clean, crisp sea air cleans my soul.

It’s around 19° – the perfect temperature, or so my warm blood dictates. I close my eyes and lean into a gentle breeze while feeling high – although that might be a sugar rush from the three pastel de natas (traditional egg tart pastries) eaten for breakfast. The last time I felt such travel-induced euphoria was cycling over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. It’s uncanny then, to open my eyes in Lisbon, Portugal and see the Gate’s spiritual sister, the 25 de Abril Bridge, in the distance. (Not to mention the Christ the King statue, which resembles Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer).

Its 70m-tall towers, built in 1962, are unmistakable, visible from many vantage points around this famously hilly city. They’re especially commanding from where I’m standing – the doorstep of Lisbon’s centerpiece: the sprawling 11th century São Jorge Castle [below].

I made a beeline straight for it, such is its Medieval allure, navigating the city’s winding mosaic sidewalks to the first of many stunning views. From here, the bridge’s distinctive color is echoed in the quaint terracotta of a thousand rooftops in the foreground. It’s gorgeous.

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News

Gay Star News Gay Travel Resources in Portugal

The Magnificent Barcelona Cathedral – Keep Calm and Wander

Barcelona Cathedral - Keep Calm and Wander

Better than Santa Maria Cathedral, the Barcelona Cathedral is the epitome of religious devotion, and most importantly, of Gothic architecture. Its high-rise pillars, the overall size of the cathedral, and the atmosphere inside awakened my spirit and encouraged me to stay there for more than an hour.

Before I could feed you in on what I saw there, I’d like to mention its fascinating history first.

The Barcelona Cathedral was not erected in a few years, instead, its architectural history spans over six centuries as it has seen many renovations, additions, and degradations at the hand of the sands of time.

The main patrons of this building were the guilds and the brotherhoods of that era who donated their funds to construct a cathedral that could serve as an awe-inspiring medieval architectural and a victory icon.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Andalusia Gay Travel Resources

Staying in Bocas del Toro, Panama – The Globetrotter Guys

Island Plantation, Bocas del Toro

After spending 3 days relaxing at the gorgeous gay friendly Hotel Banana Azul in Puerto Viejo, we still didn’t feel we had rested quite enough to tackle Panama City. So, before moving on, we wanted to have some more beach time at another stunning gay friendly hotel on the beautiful islands of Bocas del Toro, Panama.

We had previously read articles that recommended Bluff Beach as the most gay friendly area. This seemed to be due to the fact that it is away from all the crowds. As we were wanting some relaxing beach time, this seemed to be perfect for us!

And after a bit of digging around, we came across the gay-owned, luxury, beachfront hotel, Island Plantation. The tagline on their website is ‘indulge in barefoot bliss’, it sounded ideal! Read on to see what we loved about our stay!

The Background of Island Plantation – Bocas del Toro

Island Plantation is owned by gay couple Herolf and Chris, who both love to travel. They visited Panama back in 2012, and one day decided to cycle out to Bluff Beach, a 4km long stretch of pristine, unspoilt beach.

Immediately they fell in love with this part of the island, wondering why such a beautiful area wasn’t more developed, and didn’t offer more places to stay.

2 days later, they had purchased an abandoned jungle lodge, with just 3 rooms, that today is the beautiful Island Plantation Hotel.

This was a lot of work for Herolf and Chris, in fact a lot more than they had anticipated. Bluff Beach is quite far away from the main town of Bocas, and as a result is almost completely off the grid which only added to the workload! However, after 18 months of hard work, the original 3 rooms were completed and ready to be moved into! The hotel is fully self sustainable in terms of electricity and water making it very eco-friendly.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Panama Gay Travel Resources

Out In Cuba – Gay Cuba Tour Operator

Out In Cuba

Out In Cuba comes to you from California Wine Country where we have been offering LGBTQ wine related tours for over ten years. We fell in love with Cuba when a family member married a Cuban and we have traveled to Cuba many times to meet family there and to explore more offerings for our guests.

We offer custom designed, legal LGBTQ tours to Cuba through ” Support of the Cuban People”. We do not partner with any government owned businesses in Cuba. Our goal is to help support our LGBTQ team, friends and their families.

See the Out in Cuba Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Cuba Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Barcelona’s Palau Guell Mansion – Keep Calm and Wander

Barcelona's Palau Guell Mansion - Keep Calm and Wander

The Palau Guell in Barcelona may look ordinary outside but wait until you step on inside. It’s splendid! Truly magnifique!

Barcelona is love not because of its 24/7 party scenes, but also because it has some of the most architecturally and artistically revered ancient buildings such as the Paul Guell Mansion.

I was in the city only for a few days and boy, there’s so much art around. And there’s no doubt that Gaudi rules above all other artists. In fact, Barcelona is also called “The City of Gaudi.” That’s how famous he is Catalan. His works are visible everywhere. Art was merely an excuse, I wanted to see Palau Guell – I wanted to see how how the wealthy aristocrats of the past resided in their designer mansions and how those very designers managed to create the residence of their dreams.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Brighton Trans Pride in Pictures – Gay Star News

Trans Pride in Brighton - Gay Star News

The Trans Pride Brighton parade kicked off earlier today with a sea of white, blue and pink flags taking over the coastal city. Trans women, men, non-binary people and allies turned out with the slogan #LwiththeT very much present.

No Repeat of London Anti-Trans Protests

Fortunately there was no repeat of the radical feminist campaigners who marred the London Pride event with their anti-trans protest. Crowds set off at 12 noon for the 1.3 mile parade ending in Brunswick Square where the main events are now underway. These include a range of music, spoken word, poetry, as well as community stalls.

The light cover of clouds kept the heat off the parade during their march and then the sun came out to play just as the fun started in the Square. Many also sent messages of support for the march via social media.

By Mark Johnson – Full Story at Gay Star News

Brighton Gay Travel Resources

Mexico Roadtrip – Once Upon a Journey

Mexico Roadtrip - Once Upon a Journey

Roadtripping through Central Mexico, the adventure has officially started. For a week we rent a car and drive from Guadalajara east, to places like Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende and Xilitla. We want to show people it’s safe to travel (by car) through Mexico. Even as blonde ladies. In case you missed it: my sister Denise joins our travels for the whole month of May. So there we go!!!

We leave our wonderful housesit and cute doggies and travel back to Guadalajara. In Guadalajara, we meet our friend Tata again and enjoy some typical Mexican things like mezcal (made from the Agave plant) and micheladas (beer with lime juice, assorted sauces, spices and peppers). Or well enjoy… we don’t really enjoy the micheladas, it’s the weirdest drink we have ever had. Then it’s time to pick up the rental car and take off…

Thanks to the all-in car rental from Sunny Cars we don’t have to worry about a thing! We have the ultimate freedom to go anywhere, and we are looking forward to that so very much. We start our journey from Guadalajara to Guanajuato and find out toll roads are pretty expensive in Mexico. For a three hour drive we pay 35 euros, guess we will not take toll roads anymore. We also find out that the freeways are much more fun to drive on, they aren’t that bad and we see more exciting things on the way.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Mexico Gay Travel Resources

Gay Travel in a Hetero World – Stuff.Co.NZ

Gay couple at sunset - depositphotos

It can sometimes just be a simple slip up, an admin error. When the hotel welcome card says “Mr and Mrs” instead of “Mr and Mr”, it’s something that as a gay traveller you just shrug your shoulders at and go “here we go again”. There’s no malice involved, just an assumption.

However, there are other times when being a GLBT+ tourist doesn’t come without its own set of anxieties. “Are the staff going to be gay-friendly?”, “will I get strange looks when two guys order a double bedroom?” or even a simple “should we hold hands in public?”.

Even to this day in our supposedly more enlightened time I still scour the face of the hotel receptionist for any perceived slight. Will there be an eyebrow raised when the penny drops, was that a sharp intake of breath? We may be more liberated but the stain of years of being a second-class citizen is hard to wash away.

A recent Virgin Holidays survey of 1000 GLBT+ couples found that nearly 100 per cent of them were worried about showing affection when on holiday. Nearly 100 per cent!! That compared to 84 per cent of straight couples who were at ease showing a partner affection.

By Alan Granville – Full Story at

Top Places to Stay in Gay Puglia – Nomadic Boys

Top Places to Stay in Gay Puglia - Nomadic Boys

Puglia, the “heel of the boot” of Italy has long been a popular destination for LGBTQ travellers, particularly the gorgeous seaside town of Gallipoli. There are also many cultural gems in the area like the Baroque rich city of Lecce, the many trulli stone huts in Alberobello and a handful of excellent gay friendly beaches.

Quite a lot of the touristic highlights of Puglia are spread out, so the best way to get the most out of your trip is to rent a car and make it a road trip. We also recommend staying in a place which is located in a quiet village or small town for a more authentic Italian countryside experience. These are our 5 favourite gay friendly places to stay in Puglia we found during our road trip, which we loved and recommend you check out.

Trullo Incanto D’Itria near Alberobello
A trullo (plural: trulli) is a traditional Apulian dry limestone hut with a conical roof, unique to the Itria Valley of Puglia. The highest concentration of trulli can be found in the small town of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The trulli of Alberobello are some of the oldest, dating back to the 1300s. Today most trulli in Alberobello are souvenir shops, cafes or restaurants. Some are also places you can book to stay.

We loved this idea – staying in a stone conical hut that resembles the sort of houses you’d expect Frodo and his fellow hobbits to live in in the Shire; you can’t help being charmed by these Hobbit-like houses.

One of our favourite trulli to stay is the luxurious Trullo Incanto d’Itria, located in the countryside, around 5 minutes drive from Alberobello. This trullo has its own private pool and garden area, but still retains a traditional feel in its construction. LGBTQ travellers are welcomed, with no issue about booking a double bed.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Puglia Gay Travel Resources