It’s Friday night and you just want to spend the night dancing to Britney? We’ve got you covered with Florence and Tuscany’s top LGBT+ hangouts.
The LGBTQIA+ party in town for the last 20 years, Auditorium Flog – Pride Park NCS (via Michele Mercati, 24b) takes place on the first Friday night of every month. Organized by Azione Gay & Lesbica, it’s loved by locals because it draws a diverse crowd in terms of age and gender. Entrance costs 10 euro, while drinks costs up to 8 euro. Make-up and tattoo artists are on hand for a free glow-up before bringing out your inner diva on the dancefloor. Currently closed for the summer; reopens in September.
The warm and welcoming Piccolo Cafè is a small bar located off piazza Santa Croce along narrow sidestreet borgo Santa Croce. Young people group here to watch episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race and for the Friday night DJ sets starting at 11pm. Five euro is the going price for a drink: think well-mixed margaritas and mojitos.
Every Friday, from October to May, Full Up (via della Vigna Vecchia 23R, Florence) hosts Fairy Gold, one of the most famous gay parties in Florence, featuring go-go boys, a rotating cast of local drag queens, showgirls and DJs. The music selection includes anything from Italian and European dance-pop, reggae pop and, of course, gay icons such as Madonna, Britney and Mariah Carey. Arrive early to pay a reduced fee without waiting in line (there’s door selection outside).
A dance club in Calenzano, ten kilometres from Florence, Fabrik (via del Lavoro 19, Calenzano) is big with the bear community and it is generally busy, especially during the XTRA parties, when people come from all over Tuscany and Italy. The sound system is very good (only house and techno music is allowed here), the drinks are great if on the expensive side (15 euro). Plus, there’s a large outdoor area when you need a breather.
In the summer, Tuscany’s gay community relocates to MamaMia in Torre del Lago. Located not far from Lucca and about an hour from Florence, this outdoor club stars drag queens (read our interview with resident drag La Wanda Gastrica on page 27), go-go boys, pop divas and fun galore. Not to be missed.
BK Club (via Arsiero Salvanti 6, Calenzano) is a quiet place where you can while away hours watching music videos while sipping a cocktail as well as playing board games. Fridays and Sundays are karaoke nights paired with live music and local drag queen shows. The Calenzano hangout also hosts themed party, private shows and concerts. Affordable prices, great food.