Homosexuality is legal (over the age of 16) and same-sex civil unions are recognised in Italy. Although attitudes towards LGBT+ people have improved significantly in southern Italy in recent times, it remains fairly conservative in its attitudes and discretion is still wise. Overt displays of affection by LGBT+ couples can attract a negative response, especially in smaller towns.
You'll find gay scenes in Naples, Catania, Palermo, Syracuse and Bari. Both Taormina in Sicily and Gallipoli in Puglia are popular gay holiday spots in the summer.
Summertime pride parades take place annually in Naples (www.napolipride.org), Bari, Palermo (www.palermopride.it), Catania (www.facebook.com/Cataniagaypride) and Syracuse (www.facebook.com/siracusapride).
Online resources include the following (mostly in Italian):
Arcigay (www.arcigay.it) Italy's largest gay organisation, with branches in numerous southern cities, including Naples, Salerno, Lecce, Bari, Reggio Calabria, Messina, Catania, Syracuse, Ragusa and Palermo.
Coordinamento Lesbiche Italiano (CLR; www.clrbp.it) The national organisation for lesbians, holding regular literary meetings, film festivals and other events.
Gay.it (www.gay.it) Website featuring LGBT+ news, feature articles and gossip.
Guida Gay Italia (www.guidagay.it) Details on gay-friendly bars, clubs, beaches and hotels.
Pride (www.prideonline.it) National monthly magazine of art, music, politics and gay culture.
Spartacus World (www.spartacus.gayguide.travel/goingout/europe/italy) Lists male-only venues in southern Italy and further afield.