Homosexuality is legal (over the age of 16) and even widely accepted, but Italy is notably conservative in its attitudes, largely keeping in line with those of the Vatican. Overt displays of affection by LGBT couples can attract a negative response, especially in smaller towns.
There are gay venues in Rome, Milan and Bologna, and a handful in places such as Florence and Naples. Some coastal towns and resorts (such as the Tuscan town of Viareggio or Taormina in Sicily) are popular gay holiday spots in the summer.
Online resources include the following (mostly Italian-language) websites:
Arcigay (www.arcigay.it) Bologna-based national organisation for the LGBT community.
Circolo Mario Mieli (www.mariomieli.org) Rome-based cultural centre that organises debates, cultural events and social functions, including Gay Pride.
Coordinamento Lesbiche Italiano (CLR; www.clrbp.it) The national organisation for lesbians, holding regular conferences, literary evenings and other cultural special events.
Gay.it (www.gay.it) Website featuring LGBT news, feature articles and gossip.
Pride (www.prideonline.it) Culture, politics, travel and health with an LGBT focus.