What makes Puglia different from other destinations in Italy for queer travelers?
Puglia is heralded as Italy’s top summer destination for queer travelers with a unique history, architectural style, and community of its own. But what makes Puglia different from other destinations in Italy?
Puglia is all about the sea. Going to the beach is a way of life and Italians, including Italy’s LGBTQIA+ community, have been coming here on vacation for years.
Wherever you find yourself in Italy you will be surrounded by beautiful countryside, rich in tradition and culture with wonderful, seasonal food. Puglia is no different.
But with over 500 miles of extraordinary coastline, sandwiched between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Puglia’s coast is the longest of Italy’s mainland regions. The Gargano peninsula at the north with long stretches of white sand and limestone sea stacks is dense with wonderfully scented pine, becoming a dramatic roller-coaster drive as you follow the Adriatic south the along prickly-pear lined cliffs of the Salento peninsula.
Some of Italy’s finest beaches are found along the Ionian coast. Pescoluse’s two miles of white sand and crystal-clear water make it the Maldives of Puglia. The bay around Gallipoli is long and soft-sanded. Continuing north takes you past the golden dunes and maquis scrub-speckled beaches extend from Porto Cesareo to Campomarino.
An intoxicating combination of sparkling sea to swim in, sandy beaches to bronze on and hidden coves to disappear into, a long, hot summer and a vibrant nightlife make Puglia Italy’s go to gay summer destination for LGBTQIA+ travelers, drawing Italy’s gay population and a sophisticated international crowd.
Because Puglia enjoys the habit and repute of being Italy’s top gay summer destination the scene extends beyond a local or incidental one that you stumble upon by accident. You will find plenty of LGBTQIA+ visitors – especially in Ostuni and around Salento, (the southern part of Puglia) – who come because of the buzzing summer scene. Fantastic food, beautiful countryside, and amazing locations are an incidental bonus.
The world’s best known gay travel influencers the Nomadic Boys consistently rank Puglia in Europe’s top 5 gay destinations for LGBTQ+ travelers along side Sitges, Mykonos, Tel Aviv and Gran Canaria.
A 2021 survey by a leading Italian LGBTQIA+ travel website confirmed Puglia’s reputation nationally as Italy’s top gay summer destination and according to the Italian National Tourist Board:
“Puglia, is rightly considered one of the most gay-friendly Italian regions. The natural beauty of the beaches of Salento and the city of Gallipoli, creates the perfect atmosphere for a vibrant LGBTQ+ community.”
If that isn’t gay enough, Madonna regularly vacations here, most recently this summer for her 63rd birthday when she officially declared Puglia her favorite region in Italy.
Extracted from an interview given for QueerVadis the premier Italian lifestyle and travel portal dedicated to LGBTQ+ travelers, featuring articles on Italian destinations, cuisines, wines, art, history and culture.
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