Top Places to Stay in Gay Puglia – Nomadic Boys

Author: , July 19th, 2018

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

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

Views from the Roof of Milan’s Duomo – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 11th, 2018

Milan's Duomo - Keep Calm and Wander

If standing on top of Milan Cathedral won’t take your breath away – you better check in yourself to a hospital. 😀 No, I’m not kidding. Milan Duomo is one of the very few man-made architectural wonder that blew my mind away. It’s one of those places you don’t only have to see but also experience it.

From its facade to its internal core, this architectural wonder will leave you with a lasting impression. And from its underground archaeological museum to its roof, the Duomo shows us a contrast of what Milan was like and what Milan is today.

Climb the stairs or use an elevator?

Here’s the deal: the former will cost you 8 euros and the latter is 10 euros. However, the lift doesn’t go all the way up to the roof but only on the last floor and then you have to climb the remaining steps.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Pieta Rondanini, Michelangelo’s Unfinished Statue – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 9th, 2018

Pieta Rondanini - Keep Calm and WanderPieta Rondanini – Keep Calm and Wander

Pieta Rondanini is Michelangelo’s unfinished marble statue. Since 1952, Milan is a host to the master’s work. Today, you can find it at Museo Pieta Rondanini inside the Castello Sforzesco. When Michelangelo died in 1564, they found the sculpture at the artist’s workshop in Rome. Afterwards, the unfinished statue was missing for more than 200 years and reappeared in 1807 at Palazzo Rondanini.

And that’s how it gained its monicker: Pieta Rondanini.

As you can see, Mary is standing, supporting her son, Jesus, after he was taken down from the cross. The famed Pieta inside St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican has Mary sitting while looking down at his son bathed in blood.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Florence Gay Travel Resources

Back to Rome – Dolly Travels

Author: , June 29th, 2018

Back to Rome

Buongiorno, tutti,

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,

Dolly

Rome’s Tiber Island – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 14th, 2018

Tiber Island - Keep Calm and Wander

The River Tiber is as ancient as the history of Rome, or maybe even older than it. As it snakes and twines around the city through multiple historical places, it seems as if it takes a small siesta on an ancient island named in honor of it – the Island Tiber.

Just as myths and peculiar stories are attached to every kind of historical and unexplained event, so has the Island Tiber a legend associated with its creation.

It is said that when the last king of Rome was overthrown in around 509 BC, his corpse was dumped in the River Tiber. However, it was so huge that the river could not either dissolve it or flow it away with itself. So, in the end, all of that culminated in the creation of the Tiber Island.

After a few years, they say that during a plague, a ship sent to Epidaurus arrived at Rome with a sacred snake of the God of Medicine Aesculapius. As the very ship was crossing the River Tiber, the snake jumped from the ship and settled on the island. This is why the base of the Temple of Aesculapius was built there followed by a magnificent temple.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Rome Gay Travel Resources

Verona’s Arena is Older Than the Colosseum – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 9th, 2018

Verona's Arena is Older Than the Colosseum - Keep Calm and Wander

Standing in all its grandeur, this Arena in Verona has been around in the city for well over 2000 years. I have been to the Colosseum in Rome and although it is larger, unlike Verona Arena, it does not hold immense history in its folds. That is fact no. 1.

When I was in Verona I could sense the pink stained marbles still vibrating with the more than 30,000 cries of jubilation as the gladiators slaughtered each other. This thing happens to me, a kind of a time warp where I, for few seconds, get lost in the very imagination of what a historic place would have been like in its full swing.

This arena has hosted thousands of gladiator carnages in the past and, supposedly, that happened for almost 400 years until the emperor Honorius banned the practice in 404 AD.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Verona Gay Travel Resources

Returning to Lucca – Dolly Travels

Author: , May 5th, 2018

Lucca - Dolly Travels

Good morning, Everyone.

Today I am remembering Lucca. Lucca is another of my favorite cities in Tuscany. To get to Lucca, I usually take a train from Florence and enjoy the city as a day trip. The older part of the city is enclosed within ancient Roman stone walls. One walks from the train station, across a busy boulevard, then on a path that takes you through an archway in the wall, up a few steps and you are in a totally different world.

This is part of one of my tour groups, my “ducklings”, as we walk up the path to go through the wall up to the old city.

Once inside the walls, the city is full of parks, pretty piazze and lovely little sidewalk cafes.

Churches are abundant. For the most part, there are no tacky sidewalk vendors or beggars. This old town is as popular with the locals as it is with tourists, for many fine businesses flourish on the inner streets. Via Fillulungo is one street with expensive stores; I only window shop on that street. However, there is a wonderful pasticerria on that street, so sometimes I do have to stop in there and get a delicious treat.

For me, of the most fun things to do in Lucca is to rent bicycles and ride around the top of the old wall, the ramparts. The path is about two and a half miles around, completely encircling the old town. There are two bicycle rental places within the walls, and one outside, near the train station. I don’t ride a bike, but I love to walk this path, as it is pretty, and I have a great view of the inner part of the city. From there, I can decide where I want to go next.

I don’t think I would ride a bike down one of the exits off the ramparts that leads to the old city, for even walking down was a bit treacherous. There are easier ways to get down. One important item to remember, is which exit to take back to the city, for there are four main “porte”, or exits. If you go down the wrong one, you may have a long walk back to the train station. The exit closest to the station, for your information, is Porta San Pietro. Remember that, if you go to Lucca.

Another fun thing to do is to climb Guinigi Tower. This tower, a remnant of the 15th century, A.D., has a garden with full size trees growing up on top. To get to the top is a bit of a strenuous hike; there are 227 steps. However, once you emerge onto that garden, you will have a stupendous view, not only of the old city, but the surrounding countryside.

Lucca

Lucca sits in the foothills of the Apuan Alps, or Alpi Apuane, as they are known in Italy. Over those mountains in the background, not too far away, are the more famous Carrara Mountains, known for its fantastic marble quarries.

The Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro is one of the largest in Lucca. I have been there when an auto show was taking place. Wow! Some of the most beautiful cars in the world are in Italy, and I think they all gathered in Lucca that day.

Or you can relax at one of the many small cafes that are on the fringes of Piazza San Michele. Usually, there are children playing soccer in the piazza. (I will insert a little side note here: children in Italy rarely throw a ball; they kick it.).

As with all the Italian towns, there is so much more to discover than I have seen; therefore, I need to go back and find some more wonderful sights. I still have not seen Puccini’s house, although he is one of my favorite composers, and he is a native of Lucca. I would like to stay overnight in Lucca one of these times, for every night there is a concert. I know I would enjoy that.

I am looking forward to going to Lucca once more time.

I will post more pictures of Lucca when I am actually there, in just a few short weeks. Until then,

Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Lucca Gay Travel Resources

The Duomo in Milan – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 4th, 2018

The Duomo in Milan - Keep Calm and Wander

In Milan, all roads lead to the Duomo – a gigantic cathedral that is as old as the Roman empire itself. Any visitor who does not visit this place hasn’t been to Milan.

Why, oh why? …because I have seen this place and I must say that I was shaken to my core when I saw how delicate the finesse of architectural art is combined with the size of the building. It is, after all, the largest church in Italy and the third largest in the world, covering 109,641 sq. ft. area.

1. See all the 3,400 statues

Combining both the inner and the outer statues of the cathedral, they make up to 3,400 statues, 700 figures, and 135 gargoyles. All of these inclusions make the building the most decorated one on the planet!

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Milan’s Top Attractions – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 3rd, 2018

Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle - Milan - Keep Calm and Wander

Milan had been a cultural and political hub of the Roman Empire in the past. Today, it still holds immense importance in terms of attracting tourists from around the world to its bustling modern-day shopping malls, old gothic cathedrals, Byzantine mosaics, and historical citadels.

Milan was my last Italian city before taking off a train to Geneva, Switzerland. After reaching Milan and visiting these 7 distinct tourist attractions mentioned below, I was dazzled by the mix of Milanese or Roman culture – the architecture influenced by it, and the modern Italian vibes mingled and entwined in all of them.

1. Milan Duomo and the Piazza del Duomo

Standing in the main city square and looking at the gothic cathedral of Milan that took centuries to build was indeed enchanting in its own way. I was suddenly surrounded by two of the most revered attractions of Milan as I turned my head towards the left and saw the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Walking inside the Duomo was easy. And when I got in, my eyes stood wide at the spectacle ahead. I absorbed the art and the ambiance slowly and after being done with silently praising the inner workings of the intricacy of the place, I took an elevator to the top roof.

The spires looked gothic from the Piazza, but as I wandered right beside them, they revealed their true grandeur. I was honored by the presence of Madonnina sitting atop the highest spire and looking down at the moving human race below.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources