A listing of gay-friendly hotels, B&B's, restaurants and shops in the province of Siena has been put online by SIENA GAY FRIENDLY. Great news!

Or is it? 

On second thought it seems sad, that such a list is needed. Was Tuscany more open-minded in regard to homosexuality during the Renaissance than it is today?

Southern Tuscany isn't San Francisco, and no doubt the Pope's view and vicinity isn't of help with any of this; but one would have hoped that in the 21st century Italian hotels don't need symbols or stickers, which credit them for being gay-friendly. 

We offer continental breakfast, a pool, accept dogs and do welcome homosexuals. EXCUSE ME? Making gay or lesbian guests feel at home isn't an optional. It really should be N O R M A L, regular, obvious and I-don't-even-have-to-think-about-it behavior for any hotel receptionist, bar tender, shop owner and restaurant chef - even if he or she happens to work inside the Vatican! 

But obviously, it isn't. At least not yet. 

 Southern Tuscany's Maremma National Park beacha favorite summer hang-out
 for Tuscany's gay community and a must beach to visit whatever your sexual orientation

Living in a small village I can definitely say that being gay isn't seen as 'normal' in the Tuscan outback. Calling people finocchio or frocio (faggot) is still a much used approach to offend somebody, whether gay or not. But as with everything in Tuscany (and Italy for that matter) things are rather complex. Take Siena's pop rock star Gianna Nannini, who is the country's most outspoken lesbian. Not just the Tuscans, but literally everybody in Italy loves her. And I mean EVERYBODY! 

Judging from all the gay friends, who keep visiting us in our Tuscan backwater, nobody has ever felt unwelcome. However it is also true that homosexual friends have been very discreet with manifesting any same sex affection when strolling through the midst of our village. Which is not the way it should have to be. 

So if you plan to visit Tuscany as a gay or lesbian couple and want to feel free to hold hands over breakfast without having to feel awkward or provocative - consider looking at the hotel, shopping and restaurant list on Siena Gay - Friendly. 

However, remember that this list is far from complete. At the moment none of the hotels and B&B's on my Tuscan B&B and best accommodation in Montalcino pages can be found on Siena's gay tourism website. Nevertheless all of these hotels and farm-stays are definitely 'gay-friendly'. They wouldn't have ended up on my recommended accommodation list otherwise.




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