Italian President Sergio Mattarella made history today as he signed same-sex civil unions into law.

The bill was approved by the Italian Parliament last week after the European Court of Human Rights said the country was in breach of human rights laws. Italy was the last of 28 countries in the European Union to recognize same-sex couples.

With the new law in effect, LGBT couples are granted some of the same rights and protections as heterosexual married couples, including hospital visitation, inheritance rights, and the right to make medical decisions for one another. Adoption rights were removed from the bill earlier in the year.

Although the new legislation has no impact on religious unions, the Vatican rallied heavily against it. The leading Catholic community slammed its passage, with Bishop Nunzio Galantino calling it a “loss for everyone."

While the anti-LGBT lobby prepares to push back with a referendum, activists stand proud and confident.

“Italian citizens have never voted for discrimination,” said Democratic Party Senator Monica Cirinna, “They have always confirmed major civil rights advances which have already happened.”

Polls indicate most Italians support the civil union law. For those of you considering a trip to Italy, 'La Dolce Vita' has always been part of the culture and it is an ideal choice for travelers looking for a romantic wedding destination or if you simply want to be surrounded by love. It's wonderful to see that the law is now catching up to what has been a country known for love since the beginning of time.

With this recent news approved by Italian Parliament, it's an even better time to visit.  We suggest you start packing for a trip this Fall, an idyllic time to be in Italy.  Here's a recommendation a bit off the beaten path, but an experience like no other in the Italian Dolomites.

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