Bologna‬ é ‪Pride‬

How does it happen that the nicest things come and go in a blink of an eye?

The Pride weekend is over, but it was a wonderful experience. The parade started at 16.00, but we went a bit earlier to check out the stands of LGBTQ organisations and walk around enjoying the view.

Then we met with some friends with whom we later did the whole parade. The percourse wasn’t a long one (basically just two streets), but since we were in thousands, it took two hours to cover the whole path.

I brought my Polish flag with me as a sign of support, but also as a reminder that Poland is in the same point of the fight for LGBTQ rights as Italy — with no law regulations, no civil partnerships, marriages, adoptions, well… no rights in general. And as I was making my way to Piazza Maggiore, I was being stopped by random people who either asked me what flag it was (sad to say, but many Italians don’t generally have a good knowledge of flags of other countries) or who were not believing I’m truly Polish (sic!) or who just simply were Polish themselves. Enough to say that I was attracting a bit of attention.

But then of course it was a crazy big crowd and I think that when we all finally got to via Indipendenza, that is the main street of Bologna, we for sure covered it all with people wearing rainbow colors, carrying flags and dancing to the joyful music played by the DJs. People were waving at us from windows and everytime the crowd saw an old lady on her balcony clapping to the rhythm, they were simply going crazy.

Foto Nucci_Benvenuti / Corriere di Bologna
Foto Nucci_Benvenuti / Corriere di Bologna

The long awaited day

I’ve never been to Pride before.

That basically explains my excitement before this Saturday, when I’m going to attend the Bologna Pride, organized in the city since, many years. When I discovered how gay-friendly Bologna is, I was truly surprised (positively of course). And it’s not the only city in Italy, where the Pride is being organized this year. There are actually many of them: Rome, Turin, Milan, Bologna, Verona, Catania, Palermo, Naples, Genova, Perugia Pavia and more (see all the locations here: Onda Pride).

It’s seriously shocking for me how many people attend the prides in Italian cities. Looks to me like the Roman one attracted much more participants than the Equality Parade in Warsaw this year (they took place on the same day). See for yourself:

Photo: Roma Pride
Roma Pride, 13th June 2015 / Photo: Roma Pride
Photo: Parada Równości
Warsaw’s Equality Parade, 13th June 2015 / Photo: Parada Równości
Photo: Bologna Pride
Photo: Bologna Pride

It’s funny to think that Italy, the country of Vatican and the Pope seems less conservative and catholic than Poland. It’s sad for me to say so, but Poland is still in the tail of Europe when it comes to gay rights and while in Italy the legal situation is no different it looks to me like the Italians will anyway be the first to take a step (or more) forward. Well, at least the nation’s attitude is much friendlier.