RAINBOW Project: Rome Edition - Interview with Diego Longobardi, Creative Director & Event Manager


This edition of the Pirate Diary features special guest Diego Longobardi, a gay creative director and event manager, in an exclusive interview for our Rainbow project! Our Junior PR manager student Tayná traveled to Italy to shoot some queer content about the best queer venues, areas and activities in Rome. That’s where she met Diego on the city’s Gay Street, Via di San Giovanni in Laterano and they had a nice chat at Coming Out bar, a queer bar where one can eat, drink, chat and enjoy the night with a beautiful view of the Colosseum.

Tayná: Ciao Pirates! Today I’m at Rome’s Coming Out bar and I have the pleasure of meeting Diego Longobardi, who agreed to have a chat with me all about queer life in the capital of Italy. He is the owner of the biggest gay club in Rome called Muccassassina and one of the main event managers for the Roman Pride parade. Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview, Diego! Tell me a bit about yourself.

Diego: Ciao HolidayPirates! My name is Diego Longobardi, I am the artistic director of the most famous LGBTQ+ night in Rome, Muccassassina. Also, I direct the Roma Pride events every year. Right now we are in the most famous queer bar on the Gay Street of Rome, the Via di San Giovanni in Laterano. It’s the world’s Gay Street with the most beautiful view I would say - where else can you drink your Apperol while looking at the Colosseum?! Other than the Coming Out bar there are four other queer bars located on this street. Here is where all the queer people meet in Rome. Many tourists think there are no queer spaces in Rome since it’s such a religious city… But we do have some venues and great parties, including Muccassassina, which happens every friday night. We always have international performers, drag shows and a very mixed crowd. Some of the Drag Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race Italy started their careers at Muccassassina, so it’s high quality performances only! We are cis-straight friendly, meaning that also cis-straight people can come celebrate with us as long as they are respectful towards the performances and the crowd. Other than that, on Wednesdays the best venue to visit is called Glamorize. On Thursdays the main gay meeting point are the many saunas we have around the city… every day there is somewhere to go where you can celebrate with a nice crowd if queer people. You just arrived from Milan, right?

Tayná: Yes! Just arrived from Milan, the capital of fashion…

Diego: Right! A lot of Balenciaga, Gucci, Armani… Well in Rome there’s less fashion, less attitude, but more action. This is the queer struggle between Milan and Roma… Here, the bars are more spread around town. It’s not like in Milan, where you have a huge concentration of queer and LGBTQ+ bars in the Porta Venezia district. Something that not many people know though is that in 30 minutes, you can take a train from the main station and arrive at the beach. We have a huge gay beach near here named Il Buco. And almost nobody knows about it! There is a natural reserve, it’s a sand beach and this is very, very nice in the summer. A lot of tourists don't know about that. And it’s not the only beach, we have three other beaches near Il Buco. There is a nudist beach there, one for lesbians, one for all queer folks.

Tayná: Sounds like I’ll have to come back next summer and check that out! Could you tell me a bit about the Roman Pride parade?

Diego: Yes, for sure! I have been the events director of Roman Pride for some years now together with Circolo di cultura omosessuale Mario Mieli (he Mario Mieli Circle of Homosexual Culture), an association that was founded in Rome in 1983, dedicated to homosexual writer and activist Mario Mieli and committed to defending the civil rights of LGBTQIA+ people. And we organize the Pride month and the parade every year. It’s a huge parade which usually happens in the second week of June. It takes place in the historical center through Piazza Venezia and across the Colosseum, so it's very unique and super beautiful and is getting bigger and bigger every year because the tourists that come here don’t expect this kind of location for the parade.

Tayná: Lots for queer people to do during Roman summer! What about winter?

Diego: The winter is very nice. It doesn’t get super cold here during winter and the city looks beautiful during Christmas time. Also, there is a queer pop festival which happens every year in the beginning of January. It’s called Funtastic and the first edition happened last year. It was very successful so we decided to make it an yearly event. We invite queer performers from all over Europe for it and have three days of parties. Of course there is also a huge New Years party at Muccassassina! The good thing about winter in Rome is the weather, it's always sunny in Rome so it’s a good winter escape for other cold European countries… it's very nice for the soul and for the mood. You know it, you are Brazilian!

Tayná: Haha, yes, yes, winter in Germany can be a little rough. So having Rome as a sweet sunny escape is a great option, since it’s not that far!

Diego: Exactly! I would love to say the same about Berlin winter but we both know it's not like that.

Tayná: No, not at all! It is very cold and dark…

Diego: Yeah, but Berlin is nice for many other things… And now, should we get a Spritz?

Tayná: Let’s get one! Salute and thanks for the talk Diego!

Diego: Prost! Thanks for having me!