Travel With a Small Dog to Pisa, Tuscany in Italy

Travel With a Small Dog to Pisa, Tuscany in Italy…. because there are certain places that people just know. No matter where they are from. Often it is historic, scenic or a special monument.  In the case of Pisa, it is certainly all three; but it must be one specific tower that has captured the imagination of people from around the world.


At the Pisa train station!

Pisa has its leaning tower. An irony not lost on us, that an error in judgement and engineering in fact put this place on the map. But so is life and I can just see the history Gods having a good chuckle at this one.

We arrived at Pisa train station from our pied-a-terre in Florence; a quiet journey of a little over an hour that cost about 8 euros per adult each way. Dogs are permitted on trains in Italy as long as they remain in their carrier.  Even my open sling was accepted because it has a security lead in it to attach to my harness.  In other words as long as the dog cannot get out and away you are fine.  According to the Italian Embassy in Ottawa (e-mail service was prompt!) dogs must also be quiet and not take up a seat to accompany humans in coach or first class, so if you are a barker you could get tossed off the train at the next stop. Large dogs must go cargo.

Travel With a Small Dog to Pisa, Tuscany in Italy

Pisa the town!

Dogs in a carrier travel for free.

When you get out at the Pisa train station a pleasant surprise awaits you: a small grassy area. Grass is rare in Tuscan towns. It isn’t very good at surviving the hot dry summers and is a sign of frivolity.  I honoured this grass with a good pee.

Travel With a Small Dog to Pisa, Tuscany in Italy

That is a lot of grass! And a shot of all three buildings!

It is a short walk to the Campo dei Miracoli (Fields of Miracles) where the world famous Leaning Tower is just one of the splendid religious buildings that rise from the emerald-green lawns.  It includes the Duomo (Domed Cathedral) that was begun in 1063, the Baptistry (always separate since non baptised individuals were not allowed in the Duomo – even infants) of 1152-1284 and of course the tower itself that took from 1173 to 1350 to complete.

About the tower:

  • It leans a full17.5 feet (5.4 meters)
  • Total height of the tower is 179 feet (54.5 meters)
  • The tower is supported by a shallow stone raft of only 10 feet deep (3 meters)
  • Six of the eight storeys consist of galleries with delicate marble arcading wrapped around
    the central core
  • In 2008 (after a 10 year search for a solution) engineers found a way to stabilize it for
    another 200 years!
Travel With a Small Dog to Pisa, Tuscany in Italy

Sadly off limits to me.

You can climb to the top of the tower for a whopping 15 Euros per person. Now we really would have done this – at least one biped anyway – but no dogs are allowed not even in a carrier. Add to that the price (compare to 3 Euros for the baptistery and 5 Euros for the Duomo) and the fact that the next slotted time for tourists to go up was about a 2 hour wait for us, we decided to enjoy the beauty the place had to offer from the lush grass!  I was more than thrilled with the decision!


Travel With a Small Dog to Pisa, Tuscany in Italy

Check out my Top hat!

We walked around taking photos, enjoying the warm – even hot – October sun. Once we had gone beyond the baptistery and the Campo Santo (cemetery) I was even allowed by my bipeds (no sign to indicate otherwise) off leash near the old fortification walls.  I ran like a mad man … it had been days since I had seen such grass.

We then left, and walked to the lovely old town center. Stopped for lunch on a sunny terrace (yes dogs allowed in and out of restaurants) and then slowly made our way back to the train station.

Travel With a Small Dog to Pisa, Tuscany in Italy

THIS was taken for the back cover of my book!

In review:  There really isn’t much else to see in Pisa other than the Campo dei Miracoli – but it is WELL worth the day trip! If you really want to go up the tower – just remember you will have to find someone to look after Fido while you climb. Bring water, it is very hot under the Tuscan sun and there is little shade with no trees at all dotting the lawns. Travel with a small dog to Pisa is well worth it.

PS: HAVE YOU READ OUR BOOK??? Montecristo Travels to Pisa? Oh you should!! Really you must!


15 Comments on “Travel With a Small Dog to Pisa, Tuscany in Italy

  1. wow, the term “It’s a dog’s life” takes on a whole new meaning with you Montecristo. Jack and I just got back this Sunday from Myrtle Beach,S.C. No off leash beaches, although the locals told us to just let them off early in the morning or at sunset when no one is around. No parks by the beach and there stick like plants with wicked/evil small hard burrs that are painful. Other than that, the sea, the sand, the occaisional dead thing on the beach to investigate, the smells, the car rides…what a great trip.

    Tell me about the jacket/harness you’re wearing Montecristo…very stylish and debonair!!
    Have a wonderful time!!

    • Sounds like a great time!! May have to add Myrtle Beach to my list of places to visit! Thanks for the information regarding the off-leash … and burrs! yuck those evil bits do hurt – hate them!!

      As for the harness – it is a custom design by Kiki Hamann – I wrote about her in a previous post! I now also own the World traveler pictured in the post. Wore it in paris just last week!

  2. Great review full of helpful info for anyone traveling to Pisa! Thanks for the post!

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  4. Ah, little four-legged friend…you are one lucky dawg!! 🙂 What a beautiful spot and it’s wonderful that you were able to travel so easily in Italy.

    Now I must catch up on your other posts!! xo

    • Hello Auntie Iz!! thank you for dropping in – I know how crazy busy your life is! Pisa is amazingly beautiful. Perhaps one day you will also get to go and … climb those steps!

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  6. Found it! That’s a great photo. Lovely that you were able to travel around so easily, we really enjoyed seeing so many people getting around Italy with their dogs. Definitely made us miss our own though …

    • Thanks for dropping in and taking the time to find the photo! Italy is amazingly pet friendly … one of the most pet friendly places we’ve been in fact. More so even than France.

  7. Wow, great article. I really want to visit Pisa next year with my dog Bella. You say that dogs aren’t allowed up the tower, I’m guessing that’s the same for the baptistry and the duomo as well?

    Thanks for the blog.

    • Indeed. Dogs are not allowed in any of the major sites. Including the big museums. We were in Florence as our base and the one place I could not go was the Duomo etc. and of course the major museums. I was left home alone at the rental apartment for that. We travel in a trio, myself Mom and Dad. They do a hand off when we are near churches or such. SOMETIMES I have been snuck in – my bag zips shut and I am quiet as a mouse – at only 3.5 pounds many don’t know I am there. BUT this is against the law and there are consequences for doing this if caught. Do ask. You might be surprised at the exceptions they might be willing to make. I have entered many churches as long as I stay in my bag. Hope that helps. Pisa is nice for an afternoon … DO go to Florence or Sienna if you can as well. Of course Italy is amazing in that there are SO many places I CAN go that I can’t here in Canada or even the US. Like inside restaurants, markets, pharmacies, trains, buses… etc. So enjoy! I Fiesole I even got to go visit a Roman amphitheatre!!

    • I was snuck into one. There are usually few people around. It depends on the cemetery to be honest so I can’t give a blanket response to that. For example, the one outside of Florence was not – yet they let me in as long as I stayed in the arms of a biped. Again … best to ask.

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