The Milan Pride Parade.

Italy’s Gay and Lesbian Culture

All across Italy are visible and vibrant gay communities. Learn more about Italy’s gay and lesbian culture, including why travel magazines regularly rate Italy as the top destination for gay travelers.

In May 2013 it became legal for same-sex couples in France to not just marry, but adopt children together, too.

Gay and Lesbian Culture in Paris

Though the Assemblée Nationale didn’t vote to decriminalize homosexuality until 1982, the closet door has long swung wide open throughout Paris’s history—a tradition that is happily embraced today in legal rights, day-to-day life, and festivals.

Both renters and buyers will find good housing values in France, but owning a car is tres cher.

Living in Paris: Housing and Transportation Costs

Both renters and buyers will find good housing values in France, but it’s très cher (very expensive) to own a car in France, particularly in the big cities where forking out €50,000 for a permanent parking spot is not unheard of, plus maintenance, fuel, and insurance. Alternative transportation is a must.

Buildings cluster along the hillside beyond a citrus orchard in Bodrum, Turkey.

Wild and Cultivated Plants in Turkey

You may be surprised to learn that tulips originate in Turkey, not in Holland. Anatolia is one of the world’s pantries, with plants that have been cultivated for human and animal sustenance since prehistory, and Turkey is one of the few countries in the world to be self-sustaining in food production and still make exports.

Statue of three figures outside Istanbul University.

Turkey Demographics: Peoples, Cultures, and Languages

The peoples of Turkey include dozens of ethnicities—all who hold citizenship are considered Turkish under the constitution—so is very rich and varied culturally. The official language is also Turkish, but many other languages are spoken and represented in the media.

Buildings cut from rock in Cappadocia.

Booking Accommodations in Turkey

Before booking accommodations in Turkey, make sure you fully understand the ratings system to avoid unhappy surprises when you arrive, as the star-class system used isn’t standardized. Turkish travel expert Leeane Murphy shares tips for finding the best rates, understanding what’s included in your booking, and other handy advice.

Dome and turquoise tiles of Mevlânâ Shrine in Konya, Turkey.

Excursions Near Cappadocia

Take a few days to explore the museums and sights of historical cities in the Cappadocia region, and treat yourself to some truly innovative cuisine while you explore. You’ll need to do some driving to reach most of these destinations.

People waiting outside customs at the arrival gate in Instanbul's airport.

Getting Into and Out of Turkey

Getting into and out of Turkey is fairly straightforward. Visas are obtainable online prior to travel for most countries, and the list of customs regulations regarding what you can import and export is also pretty standard. As always when visiting a foreign country, however, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules beforehand to keep your travels smooth.