I’m going to leave the appennino tracks to my great regret for
introducing to all of you a cultural and tourist project promoted by the Regione Toscana, that fills in an important gap – on regional basis only by now – in the Italian tourism background and fits perfectly with the context of the past month.
On March 17th, in fact, Italy celebrated its first 150 years of unification: many different social, cultural and traditional realities, which had been living together for centuries in this boot-shaped land, under the same tricoloured flag. Even if actually the Italian unification seems to be just a political aspect, Italy has always been a tolerant country with no doubt (sometimes even too much…:-): considered the cradle of art and culture, the renaissance of sciences, where people in a constant brainstorming always drew up new and progressive ideas, it has always been the little core of a powerful engine, such as human creativity could be.
Are you wondering which role is Tuscany playing in this situation? Well, I don’t think I run the risk to appear too attached to my region if I say that Tuscany has been the spark of a process which then has involved different cultures from all around the world: an “enlightened region”, to use a 18th century high literary men’s common saying, could be the suitable definition.
In 1786 the Gran Duchy of Tuscany was the first pre-unitarian state to legally abolish death penalty for any crime. Now, as then, our region promotes a project which is going to reinforce its tolerant and liberal character. Just now, which the 150th anniversary of the Italian unification has been celebrated, Tuscany (the first region in Italy) has promoted a privileged channel for gay tourism, like many other European and American countries have already done. Italy was still missing till today, and mainly couldn’t offer adequate promotional offers, holiday packages, accommodation facilities and other kind of services to gay and lesbian travellers, a tourist channel which is constantly growing, but that mainly needs sections exclusively dedicated to. Besides the several local associations which used to (and will) promote events and activities, the Regione Toscana has created an official tourist gay-friendly channel, thanks to the collaboration with the International Association of Gay and Lesbian (IGLA).
Maybe it’s not a chance that many of those great Tuscan minds who have shaped our present were homosexual (Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci among the first); moreover, Tuscany was one of the first among Italian institutions in achieving the goal of making heterosexual and homosexual rights equal. Don’t get me wrong, I know that even before the promotion of this initiative there were many gay pubs, clubs, manifestations, events and also accommodation facilities to be chosen for holiday, I only mean that the promotion of gay tourism and all its related aspects makes the choice of holiday destinations and travel planning easier.
If Florence has been carrying forward traditional ties with homosexual events, festivals, manifestations and clubs (it was referred to as the “European San Francisco”) since the past, all those who are going to plan a holiday in Tuscany don’t necessarily have to go to Florence and give up the traditional and typical Tuscan tourist destinations. It’s all up to what people want to do during their holiday. If they are looking for fun, pubs, clubs and music above all, then Torre del Lago Puccini is the right destination. Along the promenade there are many gay and lesbian clubs and discos, first among all the Mamamia, where all Summer Saturday nights people from all Italy use to get together. But if they are planning a romantic holiday, then an agriturismo is just what they are looking for: travel advices to Maremma and its spa resorts, thermal waters, nature and seaside may be found on the Regione Toscana web site, as well as complete guides to Chianti gentle hills, for enjoying amazing panoramas and tasting typical products, such as wines, which as almost everyone knows, add holidays a magic touch!
Moreover, in April the catholic world celebrates Easter, so there’s more than one reason to take vantage of some relaxing days-off from work and enjoying Tuscany, its wonderful views and the suggestions of the Regione Toscana for an unforgettable gay-friendly holiday!
Once again, we’ve come to the end of this virtual tour and I would like to leave you quoting an expression of our Roberto Benigni, the internationally acclaimed actor and movie director whom I refer to as the greatest and most genuine representation of Tuscany. In his book, ‘My Dante’, while describing the libertine (and civil at the same time) social life in Florence during Middle Age, he writes: “… (Florence) had a widespread homosexual culture so much so that all over the world ‘homosexual’ was referred to as ‘florenzen‘, and it represented an expression of a great open-minded civilization.”
Commenti (2) | April 21, 2011