Tuscany Gay Travel
Learn about Torre del Lago, the regions huge gay beach town in wolfyy’s Tuscany gay travel guide. Plus, where to stay, nightlife spots & restaurants in historic Pisa & Lucca.
The Gay Travel Experience: Tuscany, Italy
Pisa is well known to most travelers, but neighboring Lucca and Torre del Lago will allow any traveler to get an authentic slice of Italian culture. Tuscany is an easy place to be a member of the LGBT community since being gay is widely accepted.
I found it interesting to learn that conservative Italians specifically inhabit Lucca. A local I met at the Mamamia party informed me how it is less common there to express affection in public as compared to Pisa and Torre del Lago.
Perhaps this was just his opinion given I did not find there to be any hostility toward the gay community. Lucca is a beautiful area that truly is romantic.
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Gay Tuscany: Hotels & Where to Stay
Pisa is filled with hostels and other cheap accommodations because it’s a main stopping point for backpackers.
I stayed in an Airbnb near the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This area wasn’t the most picturesque in terms of architecture, but I surely found value here. There were many cheap places to eat and grab coffee nearby.
If your budget allows, stay at a hotel in central Pisa, ideally near the river for the best views. Tourists flood the northern bit of the city, so there is not much of an authentic feel.
The streets bustle with people In the city center. There are many more enjoyable outdoor restaurants in this part of town. Explore streets off the beaten path to find some authentic restaurants.
The central rail station is on the southern end of town. It’s quite easy to walk form the rail station directly into Pisa, so you shouldn’t need a taxi unless you have a lot of luggage.
Tuscany Experiences for the Gay Traveler
Definitely walk through the city center and spend an evening in a trattoria! Take in the outdoors and the clanging of restaurant dishes as the sun sets. There are many small shops in Pisa as well, especially in the main streets which cross the river. Strolling over Ponte di Mezzo at sunset is quite romantic
Whilst in Italy, I ate enough pizza to feed a small army! I suggest you try several different types of pizza at a few different restaurants to get a feel for what your idea of “good pizza” really is.
Comparing the flavors and thickness with pizza made in other parts of the world is always interesting. Also, you absolutely must have the traditional Aperol Spritz before your lunch or dinner. It’s cheap and delicious.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is of course on everyone’s bucket list. A fundamental example for geotechnical engineers, the tower is truly beautiful in person.
Also, the lawn surrounding the nearby buildings is ideal for taking in some sun. As you are walking through town, spend a few minutes in the Piazza dei Cavalieri, a wide-open square with nice architecture.
If you happen to be looking for a place to exercise in Pisa, there is a no-frills gym called Pisa #Ready in the south side of the city center. They have a full range of equipment.
Pisa #Ready charges about 10 euros for a day pass and also have full-week options. Be sure to bring your own water bottle, soap and towel as the locker room facilities are minimal.
Tuscany gay travel can’t exclude Lucca. Since there’s so much culture and activities in Lucca, head on over to the official Lucca Tourism Website.
The Cutest Café in Pisa
Go pay a visit to Caffe Sant’Anna if you’re interested in some great coffee with fantastic service and free Wi-Fi. Some of the friendliest service I have ever encountered in my entire life, I felt like a true Italian ordering my morning cappuccino!
They also have outdoor seating, perfect for taking in the vibe of the city. Remember that on Sundays, many cafes are closed.
Gay Bars in Tuscany
Marina di Torre del Lago Puccini boasts the best gay nightlife in the region. Tons of bars, restaurants and lounges line Viale Europa, a beachside road. Mamamia is a huge indoor-outdoor gay dance party that quite literally spills into the parking lot.
Mamamia is a rowdy party to attend, even into late September! The music was upbeat and there were fun drag queens and dancers on the balconies. The party usually starts just before 1:00 and will go until pretty late. I left at 3:30 and it was still full.
If dancing is not your thing, then spend a night in Lucca where you can enjoy a trattoria all night long! There are many high-end restaurants in this small city, perfect for a date or group dinner.
I stayed one night outside Lucca in Altopascio called Hotel Paola. It is right near the train station so the next morning I could easily head back to Pisa.
Tuscany Gay Travel Tips
If you take the train there, go before sunset so you can enjoy the walk. A taxi is about 50 euros one way from central Pisa.
When visiting any tourist-filled area, I would steer clear of the guys selling necklaces and trinkets on the street. They will approach you and place bracelets and what not on you, but don’t let them.
You may also find that they become aggressive when you refuse to give them money. Engaging with them will only prolong the interaction, so just aim to avoid it.
Order Coffee like a Local
First of all, Italians are specific with their coffee. Here’s a tip to not look like a clueless tourist. Cappuccinos and lattes are for breakfast only; ordering these after dinner is strange to Italians. Furthermore, they find drinking any coffee right before a meal to be odd.
The region of Tuscany is truly beautiful and peaceful. If you enjoyed this Tuscany gay travel guide, share it with a friend.