QueerVadis has selected Lombardy as its inaugural “Focus Region of the Month”, so we will be featuring a lot of content from this amazing Italian Region in January 2021! We chose Lombardy because its capital, Milan, is the most openly LGBTQ+ friendly city in Italy, and the city will host the 2022 International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association’s (IGLTA) annual conference. This will be the first post-Covid international edition of the world’s most important LGBTQ+ travel industry event. It was to have taken place in May 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic We will be writing more about the IGLTA Conference in the coming months, but first, let’s talk about Lombardy!
Lombardy is in Northern Italy, and is most visited for its principal city, Milan. However Lombardy has much more to offer than its biggest and most known city. Places like Bergamo, Lake Como, Sirmione, Crema, Mantua and more have much to offer the LGBTQ+ traveler. The Region is very welcoming, with excellent cuisine, lively nightlife, and diverse cultural options that will satisfy any visitor. We will highlight the must-see places, discuss the LGBTQ+ scene and highlight some queer-owned establishments you should consider supporting during your visit.
Lombardy is super strategic as a logistical hub for visiting other parts of Italy. International travelers have three main airports to choose from, all near Milan, with Malpensa, Linate and Bergamo airports offering connections to all of Italy, Europe and the world. Once on the ground in Lombardy, the network of local and regional trains offers the traveler seamless transportation links to all destinations in Northern Italy. From Milan, one can be in Bologna or Torino in an hour, Verona or Florence in 90 minutes and in Venice in just over two hours. Local destinations like Lake Como, Crema, Bergamo or Pavia are all easily accessed by frequent train connections throughout the day.
Visitors will find a rich cuisine, literally, in that the most famous dishes tend to use butter rather than olive oil. You must try a Cotoletta alla Milanese (breaded fried veal cutlet) and a traditional risotto while in the region. While Lombardy does have many heavier dishes, it is also one of the best places in Italy to get fresh seafood, with the main seafood market in Milan being one of the biggest and most important in Italy.
Lombardy is a great place to start a visit to Italy, and we are pleased to have it be our first featured region on QueerVadis!