Cosmopolitan, creative, and dramatic, it is no wonder that Milan is home to the largest and most glamorous gay scene in Italy. Here you will find that the urbane gay community of divas and fashionistas lives alongside the raw underground sub-culture of artsy and alternative types, with plenty of space left over for the unapologetically transgressive.
While there is decidedly a cluster of outright gay bars and small clubs in the Porta Venezia district, many venues around town tout themselves as gay-friendly establishments that attach neither expectations nor limits to the crowds that flow through their doors. There is also no shortage of gay-themed events scheduled at various locales throughout the city, which are guaranteed to attract a diverse set of party-goers. To find the highlight events of the month, pick up a copy of Zerodue or Milano Pride, free magazines available in many of the city's bars, clubs, and shops that will keep you up to speed.
For all its deference to the 'old-fashioned' way of doing things, Italy's gay culture has even taken the digital leap in recent years, making use of popular apps such as Grindr and Tinder to establish contact and arrange a rendez-vous.
For access to a slew of gay events and hotspots, register for a membership card with Arcigay (www.arcigay.it), Italy's first and largest national gay organization. At €15, the card is valid for a year, and generally can be purchased at the venues that require it for admission. A tourist version, valid for one month, is available for €8.