If you’re like us, you’ve spent the past year in quarantine dreaming of the beach. There’s something about visiting the beach – maybe it’s the sunshine, maybe it’s the sun-washed eye candy, maybe it’s the feeling of community – that leaves you feeling, if just for a moment, at peace. In Italy’s Rimini region, one beachside resort, Bagno 27, is creating an oasis for queer travelers and travelers with disabilities. We caught up with Stefano Mazzotti, manager of the resort, to find out more about their mission to create a more inclusive, more accessible LGBTQ+ travel experience in Italy.
Queervadis: I’m currently sitting in New York City, where it is humid and rainy. What’s the weather like in Rimini right now?
Stefano Mazzotti: Hi! Today we have 25°C (77°F). Very good weather to enjoy the beach with friends; in July and August temperatures are far higher!
For those who may not be familiar with Rimini, can you describe what it’s like? What are some of your favorite things to do in the area?
Rimini unites culture and sea like few other towns do. This is the town where Federico Fellini was born, of the Malatesta noble family during the Renaissance, of long and wide beaches, of the ‘Motomondiale’ (Motorcycle World Championship). Here the Italian Summer pride takes place. Rimini is considered the capital of Italian tourism and somehow with an international echo.
One of the first things that caught our eye about Bagno 27 was the rainbow boardwalk that extends all the way across the beach heading towards the sea. Can you talk about why you decided to paint that rainbow boardwalk and what message it sends to visitors?
Our rainbow boardwalk is a universal welcoming message. It expresses our talent for inclusiveness and our will to tackle harassment. We support respect for every person, for any idea, in a special environment, on a sunny beach, which is the ideal setting for relationships and encounters.
We love that Bagno 27 describes itself as welcoming to disabled people. Can you talk about why it was important for you to create a place that was accessible and put people with disabilities first?
Because being in a position to meet disabled people’s expectations means to satisfy an even bigger number of people with their own needs and desires, which are often neglected. We want to make them feel at ease in our resort, letting them enjoy a true day at the sea. We also have colleagues with autism, so we want to help them build their self-esteem and develop useful skills for future job opportunities.
We understand that Bagno 27 joined the “Spiaggia Libera Tutti”. Can you talk about what that designation means, for people who may not know?
‘Spiaggia libera tutti’ (the Beach free them all) is the place where discrimination is severely tackled; where people can express themselves without being victims of prejudice. All this in a beach resort, in a place of freedom and joy of life.
What experiences can LGBTQ+ travelers expect when visiting Bagno 27?
Within ‘Community27’, you can express yourself as you are: everyone can meet, become friends, fall in love and spend a vacation of relaxation and fun. Last but not least: the ‘Chiringay’ bar straight on the beach is a hot spot for the LGBTQ+ community and many more folks!
Can you spill the tea on any future projects you have in store?
We are working to create a business network in which the LGBTQ+ culture is widespread. We are planning to train staff, create events and opportunities for a concrete entrepreneurial change, with the LGBTQ+ community being considered a catalyst for local tourism growth.
Find your slice of queer beachside oasis at Bagno 27. Plan your trip at Bagno27.it.