Gay Pride Montreal 2017

Montréal est fière. is the watchword of the Gay Pride Montreal 2017. What pride I had seeing the photographs of Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau proudly waving a gay flag as he processed with thousands of gays and our supporters lining the streets of Montreal.  He walked and at times danced alongside Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach, the openly gay Irish Prime Minister, and the first foreign head of government to join in a Canadian Pride celebration.  Their smiles reinforced my view that Pride is very much part of life to be supported and promoted, as it demonstrates that we all must have the right to be as we are without prejudice, a philosophy that is key to Bellaugello Gay Guest House here in Umbria, Italy.

Of course I, like my many gay guests from Toronto and Montreal see Justin Trudeau as a great hot guy.  He is doing so much to promote gay rights in Canada and beyond, his actions are talked of and admired here in Italy, as is he, a modern gay icon and international statesman.

Leo Varadkar walking at Gay Pride Montreal 2017

I made my first visit to Ireland some thirty years ago.  Before the ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom it was a charming if quiet, very rural and very traditional country, dominated by the church, a sleepy backwater that I thought would stay the same.  But no, I have returned many times and been amazed at the rapid change and thrilled at how the Irish have welcomed and embraced gay rights, and now to have not only gay marriage, but an openly gay Taoiseach, and who is of Indian heritage, remarkable, inclusive and so so right.  To see the smiling Leo Varadkar, the first openly gay Taoiseach, walking at Gay Pride Montreal 2017 being embraced by so many is not I sight I had ever imagined way back on my first visit to his country, but it filled my heart with pride.

Traditionally I think of cross Atlantic ties as Ireland and America, St Patrick’s night, but this is a new and exciting departure and I hope one that will be the catalyst to many other senior politicians and countries embracing gay rights so enabling us all to live as one.

Picture credits:

The other evening we had the privilege of serving a romantic ‘dinner a deux’ for two guys celebrating twenty years together. It was an excuse for us to set a table on the terrace deep in the garden, fill it with candles in lanterns and for the couple to enjoy the privacy and intimacy of a private dinner.

Soft music, candles, and good Umbrian food…



For your booking email us at and we will make your day rather special.

It is a strange thing weather…. I moved to italy for several reasons, the obvious one to own and run a gay guest house, another obvious one the great people, food and wines, and then there is e weather.
Weather has never been a subject of conversation of import at Bellaugello Gay Guest House until this year. When guys make bookings for their holidays here I am often asked what the weather will be like in September, will it be too hot in July, is May a good time to travel, but this year I can give no guidance as to what the weather will be doing tomorrow let alone in several months’ time.

We have had our share of wet and miserable weather, but fortunately nothing like in Calgary or eastern Germany from where guests send me photos of catastrophic flooding and summer snow. All this rain has stunted the fruit trees here at Bellaugello my usually juicy plump sensuous figs are falling from the tree, unripe, the apricots are non existent, but as a neighbour remarked yesterday the olive trees are bursting with flowers, if they turn into fruit the olive branches will all need supports, it looks possible to be a once in 50 years bountiful harvest.

Today is utterly glorious, a dreamy Umbrian morning, the verdant hillsides warmed by an invite se sun, lingering wisps of mist, the air punctuated by birdsong and the noise of insects collecting nectar.

I am sitting on my terrace just finishing a croissant with orange marmalade made by a guest from England and kindly given to me, ambrosia in this place of paradise