When it comes to talk about LGBTI community in Italy we usually think of cities like Rome and Milan, certainly more populated. But honestly talking, Florence is probably the gayest city in Italy. Think about it. What’s in Florence? Art is everywhere. Fashion with Pitti events, the high couture stores in the city center, the Polimoda Fashion School near the Arno river and the textile tradition. The antiques and the historical markets, theaters, museums and of course the great art masterpieces of the past. Artistic expressions are always related to gay culture history. More than any other community gay people enhance and renew the forms of art communications. In this article we want to guide you in all the aspects of this love for beauty and for expressing ideas, with events and social initiatives created and supported by the Florentine LGBTI community.
TO HAVE FUN
The most famous Florence LGBTI night event of all. It exists since 1992, it’s only once a month from September to May and in recent years it has been re-named Necessariamente, because people feel the urgency, the necessity of this party.
The venue is always at Flog “Fondazione Lavoratori Officine Galileo” and it is a real gathering of people from all cities of Tuscany coming to Florence because they know they will really enjoy as if they were going to visit some friends who organized the most massive of house parties. During the evening, always a different show: musical, plays, cabaret, live music or special moments of social propaganda on issues the community care about.
Then music stops at 4am. You’ll came back to reality with the Sirtaki, which is danced by everybody while the security bodyguards expect the last survivors of the evening to recompose and go back home…
Flog is located just outside the center; we suggest you to reach it in 10 minutes with a cab. If you have your own car you can park in the pine garden parking for just two euros. Do not arrive after 11 p.m. because you will not find easily parking, (not even inside).
But here’s the solution: come for dinner. Il Giardino del Poggetto , the pizzeria in front of the Flog has become a real tradition of the community: first pizza, then fun and dance.
It’s the historic gay bar in the center of Florence, near Piazza Santa croce. This year Piccolo celebrates its 21st birthday and changes its interiors every 6 months offering always new fantastic looks. On Thursday evening the most important DJs of the Florentine nightlife play here to entertain tourists and citizens. On Fridays and Saturdays there are so many people that you can just take your drink inside and drink it outside in the crowd, that street we can be considered the small “Florentine gay street”.
It’s the newest and coolest party of the city. Five brilliant Florentine girls, Margherita, Andrea, Costanza, Sofia and Vezia created this special night, the real rising of gay & friends parties in town. DJ sets, live music, colors, one of the best vocalists of Italy: Jenny Jackson.
It’s a new bar restaurant in Calenzano. Patrizia with its karaoke night and its PATlive music festival delights all those who participate during the happy hour, every Friday and Sunday. You can find here the most disparate audience: a place where you talk with LGBTI families of Florence and always have fun. Cocktails, DJ nights and tango dance events.
LGBTI ASSOCIATIONS OF FLORENCE
Located in Via Pisana 32, Azione exists since 1989 and organizes the Flog night Necessariamente. The association has always answered about gay events of Florence to the youngest people. They also organize Ciackline, a retrospective of gay-themed movies accompanied with debates, every week. Azione hosts book presentation events and debates. All the guys who work here are volunteers. They have also a stocked library of gay-themed books that you can always consult.
A group of young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (and others) of Florence. They meet every week and the themes of each meeting are always different: self-training, confrontation, self- awareness and knowledge. To participate you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or consult their Facebbok page.
Ireos address is Via dei Serragli 3, just near the Arno river. You can always find a counseling of psychologists to talk about sex problems and you can do here, for free, HIV tests (just write to email@example.com). The test is anonymous and accompanied with an interview that will give information on risk behavior, ways of transmission, treatments. Datas collected during the last years show that about half of the people doing the HIV test at Ireos are heterosexual. IREOS also organizes training courses on discrimination, meetings and educational projects in the schools of Florence to encourage debate and discussions on issues like homophobia, transphobia, gender stereotypes, human rights and other related issues.
Also held presentations of books, meetings with authors, happy hours and parties.
But the most important event organized by Ireos is the Florence Queer festival.
It’s one of the most important Italian exhibitions dedicated to queer culture. Arrived at its thirteenth edition, the festival takes place every November during the 50 Days of Cinema in Florence at the Odeon Cinema, perhaps the most beautiful and old theatre in Florence. Odeon is situated in the centre of the city, next Repubblica Square and proposes movies in their original versions with Italian subtitles. The festival not only presents retrospective of important movies from all over the world but also photo exhibitions, video art, theater, music, books presentations, debates and parties.
Do you really think that gay guys and sport are two separate worlds? You’re wrong.
In Florence we have gay football teams and sport fans getting together organizing tournaments to promote not only love for sport but integration without prejudice.
Do you like football? There’s Revolution Soccer Team. With great irony these guys propose the Finocchiona Cup (finocchiona is the typical Tuscan salami with fennel but also a term used to refer to a gay person in the Florentine slang).
A football tournament called MSP sees the girls of the team sponsored by GULP.
You can go to cheer the girls and be updated about matches visiting the official Facebook page of Gulp. Do you prefer volleyball? Consult the Facebook page Ore d’aria.
Or what about a hike? In Florence Altri Passi organizes informal tours to guide people in the fantastic world of trekking. The target is always meeting new people during wonderful trips that alternate historical-artistic interest, landscapes and nature.
Visit Florence and have fun. Our city is not “just art”.
If you are part of the LGBTI community or friends, here you will never get bored!