Milan Gay Travel Guide & Map 2021

Upcoming Events in Milan

|  9 – 14 May 2021
Borsa Internazionale del Turismo – BIT 2021: Milan's annual travel and tourism fair – one of the largest fairs of its kind world-wide – will take place in 2021 as a virtual edition due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
|  18 – 22 June 2021
Milano Moda Uomo – Milan Fashion Week Men's: the most important event for men's fashion world-wide. Twice a year, usually in January and June.
|  5 – 10 September 2021
Salone del Mobile di Milano 2021: the biggest annual furniture fair in the world and one of the most important showcases for designers of furniture and lighting.
@ FieraMilano Rho
|  6 May 2022
Werq The World 2022: the stars from RuPaul's Drag Race on tour in Milan with their new show.
@ Teatro Arcimboldi (Viale dell' Innovazione 20)

Accommodation Tip

Guesthouse, gay-friendly. 50-160 €
Stylish loft with 7 rooms and a big communal living room, located in the Città Studi quarter. A 'straight-friendly gaysthouse' where everybody can feel welcome and comfortable.
@ Via Edoardo Bassini 50/A
Milan 20123
Tram: Valvassori Peroni, Metro: Lambrate

About Milan and its gay life

Milan is the second largest city in Italy after Rome and the capital of Lombardy.
It is located in the Po Valley and is therefore characterized by a mild Mediterranean climate with warm summers and moderately cold winters.

Founded 400 BC by the Celts, Milan was conquered by the Romans in 222 BC and repeatedly plundered and destroyed during the Barbarian Invasions. From 774 on Milan belonged to the Frankish Empire. In 1162 it was destroyed completely by Frederick Barbarossa. After reconstruction, a golden age followed, and under the noble family of the Sforza Milan became one of the leading cities of the Italian Renaissance. The Sforza brought Leonardo da Vinci to the city, who worked at their court for nearly 20 years and in that period produced some of his most famous works.

In the 16th century Milan fell into Spanish hands, after the War of Spanish Succession it was awarded to Austria in 1714, until finally in 1859 the Italian Kingdom began to emerge. In the age of industrialization Milan became one of the first strongholds of the labor movement. During World War II Milan suffered heavy destruction as center of the Italian defense industry. In the 1980s it became an economically thriving metropolis, leading especially in the fields of fashion, design and media.

Four times a year the Milan Fashion Week takes place. Over the course of one week the world's most prestigious fashion labels present their latest collections in elaborate catwalk presentations. When it comes to men's fashion, Milan is setting the tone ahead of Paris, New York and London.

For art and culture lovers Milan has plenty to offer, too. Lovers of architecture should visit the Milan Cathedral, one of the largest churches in the world. Built in Gothic style, it is an exception within Italian architecture. Particularly impressive are its colorful glass windows and the statues on top of the cathedral, of which ›La Madonnina‹ – a four-meter high gilded statue of the Madonna – even became a symbol of Milan.

For opera lovers, we recommend visiting the Scala, the most famous opera house in the world, where the biggest stars of the opera world have performed and are still performing, from the divine Maria Callas to Placido Domingo. Since it is nearly impossible to get one of the coveted tickets for a performance, and individual visits are not allowed, you should take part in a guided tour to gain access to the impressive interior.

Milan also has the biggest gay scene in the whole of Northern Italy. The bars and clubs are scattered all over Milan, with a certain concentration in the Porta Venezia area.

Annual highlights and queer events in Milan are, among others, the LGBTQ film festival MIX and the Milan Gay Pride in June.

For Italy, see also our Gay Rome Guide and Gay Florence Guide.