A smart guide to Catania as a gay-friendly destination: the scene of a sparkling LGBT community

27 Oct

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Once in Catania you won’t need to open grindr to figure out that you’re in one of the most gay-friendly cities in Sicily and quite a popular destination for the LGBT community. Its vicinity to Taormina, a well known gay destination since the XIX century whose prestigious guests included names as Truman Capone and Oscar Wilde, its baroque soul which expresses vivacity in every form of arts in a place that once was the melting pot of many different cultures, but also its well-known strapping nightlife and  yet its undiscussed natural wonders that surround the city make Catania a privileged gay destination.

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For gay, lesbians and transsexuals who choose Catania as a stop for their holidays, the city under the volcano won’t disappoint you at all. Indeed, Catania offers a great variety of LGBT venues that attract every weekend, but not exclusively, hundreds of people from the whole island.

Here a list of the “must go” gay venues and places in Catania:

Catania’s Gay Nightlife:  where your wild dreams come true

The historical gay hangout in Catania city center is Via Alessi, around Nievki: a bar and an alternative restaurant which has been welcoming to LGBT people since the ‘70s.

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Il Nievsky e la scalinata Alessi.

Another one of Catania’s gay institution is Pegaso’s, that organizes gay events in Catania every Saturday and Sunday nights since 1994, which nowadays is in a brand-new location with two dance floors, bar, VIP lounge with a northern European appearance and taste: Industrie in Via Acquicella Porto. During the summer all their events move to the beach, at Discus Beach, in Viale Kennedy, where you can enjoy dance music but also a huge relaxing area that includes a swimming pool and  two Jacuzzis along the seashore.

Friday nights, organized by CG Management, offers new venues that change according to the taste of its public through winter for a feverish night out. Dance, House and revivals music plus a fabulous Drag Queens and Go-Go Boys show will entertain you  till dawn.  During summertime Friday gay nights move to the beach at the beautiful location of Le Capannine, in Viale Kennedy, where strobe lights from the two dance floors on the seafront mix up with the starry sky of La Playa.

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Le Capannine in versione diurna.

Body, Eros and Relax: pleasure and transgression in Catania

For those who are looking for a relaxing time, Catania offers three gay-only saunas: Terme d’Achille, in Via Tezzano, an elegant and cozy, with Finnish sauna, hamam and a spa, which is very popular especially on Sunday as a lavish buffet is served; close-by you can find South Factory Club (SFC) in Via Fischietti, its interior is all generous, larges spaces, a huge SPA, an American bar and several private cabins. On Friday nights the location turns into a cruising bar; in the same neighborhood it’s located in the oldest gay sauna in Catania, Myknos (Via Platamone) in an old sophisticated XIX villa.

For even more transgressive nights in Catania, you can blow through  to the biggest cruising bar in southern Italy, Codice Rosso (Via Conte Ruggero), where with some drinks and a candlelit atmosphere you can have an hot and passionate night.

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Gay beaches in Catania and surrounding

But Sicily is above all beaches and in our smart gay guide to Catania we won’t forget to mention some of the secluded beaches popular within the LGBT community. Not far from the city, at the Oasi del Simeto, on Simeto’s southern bank there’s a clothing – optional golden sand beach still wild and left unknown to mass tourism. Near Taormina you can enjoy the sun and meet new people on the beach Fondaco Parrino; Another place worth  mentioning is Marianelli, in the nature reserve of Vendicari, a secluded beach, wild and unspoilt, sandwiched between almond, lemon trees and sand dunes enriched by a unique flora.

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Fondaco Parrino.

Not just places: activism and gay pride

Catania also has a strong presence of organizations that stand for the rights of the LGBT community. Besides the presence of the Provincial Committee of Arcigay Catania which often organizes events and activities at its headquarters in Via S. Elena, there are less well-known associations with a rich program of meetings and activities, among these  Queer as UNICT, a students’ organization  whose aim is to educate the local community on gender differences and to counter stereotypes.

For over twenty years between late June and early July, the city is flooded by the colors of the rainbow flag with a series of initiatives crowning in the traditional Catania Gay Pride Parade.

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The B&B Globetrotter Catania is close to the LGBT community and the staff will be delighted to provide all the information to make your stay suitable for all your needs.

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