La Martellina B&B – Gay Friendly Tuscan B&B

Author: , November 7th, 2018

La Martellina B&B

Romantic B & B in an ancient 13th century mill, near Florence, Tuscany.

Only 7 km from the center of Florence, the old mill of the thirteenth century, spends quiet days on the banks of the Arno. Only the background murmur of the river you whisper in the ears! Located near a small village is completely surrounded by green countryside.

A lovely garden and a hearty breakfast awaits you in the morning and let you enjoy a pleasant stay, will offer you a pleasant break of tranquility and a lovely small swimming pool, after the day visiting monuments and museums that in summer can be very tiring.

The 4 rooms, bathrooms and a common hall occupy a wing that is completely reserved to guests, and are decorated carefully selecting furniture and furnishings to accentuate the unique character. The rooms are equipped with a refrigerator and television with satellite-dish television.

See the La Martellina B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

 

Inside the Pisa Cathedral – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 7th, 2018

Pisa Cathedral - Keep Calm and Wander

The Pisa Cathedral marks the zenith of the architectural power of Pisa at the time of its creation by having bits from the Islamic, Byzantine, Lombard-Emilian, and classical architecture. Lying peacefully in the Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracle Square), it gleams in multi-colors, courtesy of the different types of marbles that it is adorned with, especially cosmatesque marble.

1. The marble facade

Unlike the exterior, the cathedral’s interior depicts much more decorations and ornamentations. The Romanesque façade of the cathedral is made of pastel-colored marble that is designed divinely by the students of Giambolongna.

While the three doors leading inside were constructed or cast after the deadly fire of 1595, an original door “The Door of San Ranieri” designed by Bonnano Pisano still stands and provides a way in from the southern transept.

2. Medieval and Renaissance art

The interior of the cathedral has a mixture of the Renaissance and Medieval architecture. This mixture has been a result of the fire of 1595. After the destruction of most of the Medieval parts of the cathedral, they were rebuilt in the Renaissance style as it was popular back then.

The surviving Medieval pieces include Tomb of Emperor Henry VII, originally sculpted by Tino di Camaino, and the pulpit by Giovanni Pisano, which has been recently placed in its original place after being found dismantled.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Pisa Gay Travel Resources

Vernazza – Disaster & Recovery – Dolly Travels

Author: , August 4th, 2018

Buongiorno, tutti,

We started our morning at the Il Pirata Bar at the top of the town. This restaurant has the best pastries; all are made on the premises. Their reputation has made this small place such a popular breakfast place, that one must get there early to get a table.

While we were enjoying our delicious pastries, we began talking with the couple who sat next to us. By the end of our breakfast we were best friends – Lynda and Jake, from Toronto. We had such a good time with them. We discussed our plans for the day, and before we knew it, we had learned far more about each other than I know about my next door neighbors at home.

Soon, though, we all went our separate ways. I love the way that travel allows me to meet such interesting people as I go along.

The kids had their own plans for the day, so here I am, telling you about my day.

I am sitting at the Ananasso Bar again. Lest you think that I might do this too often, this bar sits right at the harbor’s edge. From here, I can look out at the little cove, where people are swimming. I can see the boats in the harbor and look beyond to the town of Monterosso. Over to my left and closer to the harbor is the good pizza restaurant that we visited yesterday. So, you see, my perch here, for the price of a drink, is perfect.

Today, I went for a walk up through town, past the Il Pirata Ristorante, where we had breakfast this morning. I walked up the road while following the little stream that starts somewhere up above, then flows down through the town. I remembered well, the deluge of October, 2011, where the rains came down so hard and for such a long time, that the mountains washed down into that stream, pushing homes, cars and anything in its path, into that stream, until the town was flooded with mud, debris up to the second story of the buildings.

Today, as I walked through the town, seven years after that disaster, I felt that the people of Vernazza have made a remarkable recovery. Although reconstruction is still going on in some areas: rock walls are being rebuilt, some facades of buildings still need to be repaired, life goes on as before.

As I sit here, watching the tourists, I wonder how many of them know the calamity that besieged the town those years before. I watch the people that work in the shops and the restaurants; I see them wait on the customers, and they are so kind, so patient. They are indeed lovely people.

Vernazza is one of the five villages in a unique area. During the day, the little town is filled with tourists. Many people come here to hike the trails between the villages. I honestly don’t know why the cruise ship passengers come here. When those cruise ships unload their tenders, the town is immediately flooded with up to five hundred extra people; more than the town can comfortable accommodate.

However, when evening comes; the town settles down and becomes an almost-quiet village. The people of Vernazza are resilient. They have rebuilt their town and life goes on in this little city as if the disaster never occurred.

My point in writing this blog post is to remind all of us, that no matter what life hands us, we have the choice to adapt, rebuild, and get on with things, or curl up and admit defeat. I want to pattern my life after the citizens of Vernazza: there is always light at the end of the tunnel, if I choose to follow it. Or I can let the small disasters get me down.

I am inspired by the people of the town of Vernazza.

Until next time,
Arrivederci,

Dolly

Pisa Views from the Leaning Tower – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 14th, 2018

Pisa Views

Yes, it is possible to climb to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. You just don’t pose like you’re saving the leaning tower from falling with your tiny hands but you have to climb and see what’s up there. The views aren’t really impressive but climbing a leaning tower is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You don’t get to experience that anywhere else, right? Perhaps, this might be the only leaning tower you’d ever climbed on.

Before Climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa

First, you have to buy a ticket. The ticket booth is on the left side, across the green lawn. When buying, choose a time that’s convenient for you. They limit the number of people going up there for security reasons. When you’ve paid, go to the room next door and leave your things in a locked safe. They won’t allow backpacks or bags. Just bring your camera, phone or valuable things, like your wallet. Be sure to line up 10-15 minutes before your time.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Pisa Gay Travel Resources

Three Pisa Landmarks – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , August 23rd, 2017

Pisa - Keep Calm and Wander

Pisa is in the northwestern part of Italy. You can visit it for a day trip from Florence but make sure to go early to avoid the huge crowd. Take an early train, instead of going on tourist buses. It’s an hour and a half – depends which train you’re taking – from Florence and it’s a comfortable ride.

There are three main landmarks or tourist attractions to see in Pisa. They are: the Leaning Tower, the Pisa Cathedral / Duomo and the Baptistery where Galileo was baptized. They are located few steps from each other, no need to worry about public transport from one to another. In fact, you can take a shot of them in one photo frame. They all can be seen in half a day or less, depends on what your interests are and how long you wanna stay.

How to Get There

As soon as you exit from Pisa Central Station, you have two choices on how to get to the three main attractions in the city: take a bus or walk. There are two buses that go or pass by the famed tower.

I’d suggest to take the bus when you arrive early in the morning to see the sunrise and to beat the crowd. But, on your way back to the train station, you better walk. It a nice way to get to know a bit of the Italian city. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Open your Google Map steps away from the leaning tower and it gives you a route where it passes through squares, cafes and shopping lanes. When you reach the bridge, stop by and take selfies. It’s a nice view. And the bridge is also your landmark that you’ve almost arrive at the station. The leisurely stroll took me an hour and a half. But, if you’re intent on going back fast, it should take you between 20-30 minutes only.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Western Tuscany Gay Travel Resources

Walking through Italy: Via Amerina, Part I – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , January 27th, 2017

Via Amerina - Dani

It was a special moment when I was handed my pilgrim’s pass in the Papal Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi – even though I am not religious. But it made it official: I would be walking along the Via Amerina, a historic pilgrim’s route, for the next six days, until we would reach Rome, the ultimate destination for a pilgrim.

Assisi is an important sacred place for pilgrims because St Francis, the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land, and one of the most venerated religious figures in history, was born and died here. Several pilgrims’ trails start or pass through Assisi, inspired by the life and the travels of St Francis – most famously the St Francis Way, a 340 miles (550km) pilgrimage from Florence through Assisi to Rome through Central Italy, visiting key sites from the saint’s life.

The Via Amerina may include several spiritual sites, like churches and monasteries, but of course you don’t have to be religious to enjoy the walk through the Italian countryside. Just like on the Camino De Santiago, Spain’s famous pilgrim’s route, you find people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds, and everyone is walking for a different reason. Some are at a crossroads in their life, looking for a sign of which way to take. Some are walking to process a dramatic event in their lives. Some are walking to focus on spiritual virtues, of course, and others walk simply because they enjoy walking.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Eastern Tuscany Gay Travel Resources

Gay Accommodations: Agriturismo Il Segreto di Pietrafitta, San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy

Author: , January 13th, 2016

Agriturismo Il Segreto di Pietrafitta

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Il Segreto di Pietrafitta is an elegant structure that rises on the gates of San Gimignano, the most famous medieval town in Tuscany. The origins of the structure are quite ancient, and many historical figures have slept within its walls. The Agriturismo is located on a dominant position, facing towards the magnificent town of San Gimignano. From here you’ll be able to easily reach Florence, Siena, and the Chianti region. There are also many wonderful small medieval towns to visit nearby, such as Volterra, Certaldo, Monteriggioni, and many others.

The structure offers 9 very comfortable rooms, meticulously decorated from local craftsmen, including floors covered with Cotto (typical Tuscan clay bricks), and wooden beams on the ceilings. No small details are left unnoticed here at Il Segreto di Pietrafitta!

See the Agriturismo Il Segreto di Pietrafitta Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Southern Tuscany

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Il Sole del Sodo, Cortona, Tuscany, Italy

Author: , November 22nd, 2015

Il Sole del Sodo

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

ll Sole del Sodo b&b is located in the heart of Tuscany, nestled away but very close to the Cortona village center. An encounter with Cortona is an encounter with art, history and spirituality. The b&b is managed by the 4 sisters that are focused on making every guest’s stay wonderful and memorable – from just relaxing at the resort to recommendations for visiting the area (with so many options like Montepulciano,Siena ,Lake Trasimeno ,Arezzo ,Perugia ,Firenze ,Montalcino ,Pienza ,Assisi or Gubbio , wineries, village shopping and dining). This B&B is great for romantic getaways or traveling with friends.

See the Il Sole del Sodo Expanded Listing
on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Eastern Tuscany

Italy our 25th Anniversary Trip- Planning

Author: , September 23rd, 2015

rome-day-3-11My husband Dave and I celebrated twenty five (25) years as a couple on September 19th, 2015.  Almost a year ago we decided to plan a big trip to Italy for our celebration. We needed to decide,  did we want to go on a tour or did we want to plan and arrange the trip on our own.  We looked at all of the Gay Travel websites to see if any were going to Europe and more particularly Italy in September or October.

We researched to see if Atlantis or RSVP were going to Europe and we compared the costs of taking a cruise or tour as opposed to arranging the trip on our own. The numbers are comparable.   Last year we went on a trip to Austria and Germany(Oktoberfest) through a gay travel agency.

Al & Chuck did a fantastic job but as with any organized tour you go according to their schedule. Dave and I are in our mid fifties and decided we would have plenty of time in the future to go on organized tours and wanted the flexibility and the challenge of arranging our own trip.

We decided to make all the plans on our own using the Purple Roofs Website to help us find gay friendly places and accommodations. We like meeting new people so this seemed like a nice compromise since we hoped using Purple Roofs we would meet gay people. Next we needed to decide do we rent a car or take a train.

Of course, we got plenty of horror stories of Italian drivers. I enjoy driving and Dave likes to be in the passenger seat so rent a car gave us the maximum amount of freedom. We would take trains in the cities thereby avoiding driving in Rome or Florence.

My name is Bryan and my husband Dave and I love to travel. We are New Yorkers who moved to Saint Petersburg, Florida six years ago.  We are both are still working professionals and have limited vacation time available. We take a few small trips a year and one two week trip in the fall. Getting out of the summer heat of Florida is why we choose to take a big trip in either September or October.  I feel our recent planning of our 25th anniversary trip to Italy can be helpful to others who might want to plan a trip on their own. We rented a car and went from Rome to the Amalfi Coast, then through Tuscany,  Venice, Florence and places in between.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Priello B&B, Caprese Michelangelo, Tuscany, Italy

Author: , July 31st, 2015

Priello B&B

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Welcome to Priello! Come and spend an unforgettable vacation in Tuscany! Stay in our 1600’s farmhouse beautifully restored with an incredible view of the green heart of Italy. Set on a hillside with commanding views of the valley and mountains beyond … more than one guest has broken into a chorus of Sound of Music! It’s that beautiful…

See the Priello B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals