THE RAINBOW VILLAGE
Most European cities have their own gay neighbourhood, but there are few villages in the world that have it. Sitges is one of these, although, rather than talking about a neighbourhood, we could speak of a whole town. This town has spent decades specializing in gay tourism. The beauty of its beaches - Sant Sebastia was selected by the New York Times as the best urban beach in Europe-and the openness of its people might have helped. Also its proximity to Barcelona has made it a meeting place for the young, open cosmopolitan.
Rainbow flags wave in the windows, male couples stroll holding hands peacefully, the atmosphere is similar to London's Soho, but, instead of gray buildings and erotic bookstores, we walk down cobblestone streets, past white houses and old sandal stores. The lifelong residents do not seem upset with this kind of tourism. Its population has grown from 13,000 to 28,000 in the last twenty years, coinciding with the promotion of the town as a gay destination.
Besides the well-known gay pride festival, this seaside resort celebrates other festivals for the homosexual public, such as Mimi LGBT Short Film Festival or the Sitges International Bear Meating, bringing together the most mature and hairy gay community, the so-called bears. But you do not have to be homosexual to enjoy this Mediterranean gem. Sitges is loved by people of all persuasions, religions and places. All that you have to be attracted by is the good life.
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