Super Important Stuff You Should Know About Dogs In Italy – By Foreign Correspondent Luna!
Hi again, Montecristo fans!
It’s Luna, the world-traveling Schnauzer-Yorkie mix again! In case you don’t remember me, I’m the one who wrote all that stuff about Switzerland a few months ago. I’m also the one with the not-so-secret crush on Monte.
A big thanks to the Montecristo team for having me back again. Today, they’ve asked me to give you the low-down (literally) on my trips to Italy.
Getting your dog to Italy
So, mom says the first thing I should tell you is that it is really, really easy to get your dog into Italy. If you’re coming from the states, all you need is:
- An international microchip (if you’re microchipped already, you’re set on that one)
- Up-to-date rabies vaccination (for Europe, up-to-date means within one year, not three like the states)
- And some paperwork filled out by your vet and stamped by the USDA within 10 days of your departure date
The first time mom and I flew directly into Italy, unlike other more strict European countries like Switzerland and Germany, mom had to go looking for a customs person so she could declare me. And when she found the customs officer guy? He totally just waved her through like she was bothering his lunch break. You should still have all your paperwork correct, but they didn’t even check ours.
Finally, mom says I should also tell you that getting from the airport to wherever you’re staying in Italy is super easy too. We just took the train. Like Switzerland, the policy of the Italian train companies is that dogs in carriers travel free (do double-check before assuming this, as rules do change sometimes, but this was our experience with all our Italian train rides).
A month in the Italian countryside
Okay, enough of that boring logistical stuff and onto my favorite part of the post: where we went and what I did!
We’ve been to Italy a few times, but our longest stay was a month-long visit to the Umbrian countryside. Mom calls it Tuscany’s lesser-known-but-just-as-pretty neighbor. I call it a way fun place with bazillions of other small dogs to smell and play with.
We stayed in two apartments that we found on Airbnb in a town called Perugia, which is the capitol of Umbria. The top-floor apartment was super spacious and I loved curling up on the giant couches and snoozing the day away. Mom loved staring out the window at the rolling hills because she’s kinda boring like that.
The downstairs apartment was even better. It was all on one level (the upstairs one had a loft and the open stairs made mom a little nervous for me, even though I’m a big girl and can totally handle it). My favorite thing about that apartment was that it was sooooo sunny. I could always find a sun-patch to stretch out in while mom worked.
Both apartments are not listed as dog friendly, but they’re happy to make exceptions for small, well-behaved pooches, so just ask.
So, we spent a lot of time inside the apartments because mom was working really hard that month and also because January is rainy in Umbria, but I should probably tell you about the town we lived in, because when we did go out it was great…
Perugia is a university town, so it’s usually very busy with students and Italians bustling around everywhere (though while we were there for New Year’s Eve it was really quiet because all the students go home to visit their families for the holidays).
Like the rest of Italy, Perugia is super dog friendly. Mom and I would often go sit in cafes and she would have a cappuccino and I would have some water and we’d watch all the people come in and out, drinking espressos at the counter with their own small dogs on leashes behind them. Restaurants were the same, mostly dog friendly and very busy.
When we weren’t getting warm inside the cafes, sometimes we’d bundle up and go for walks. There was a pretty little park just a block away from our apartments and we’d go down there almost every day. On days when we felt like longer walks, we could walk into town, stroll down the main street (where all the locals bring their dogs at the end of the day for their own walks), and stop at the park at the end, which has a beautiful view out over the hills of Umbria stretching into the distance in the sunshine and wreathed in fog when it rains.
Other Italian towns
While Perugia was our longest Italian home base, we also loved Verona up in northern Italy, where we stayed in a pretty little apartment inside the walled city. Verona is another hub of activity and also seems to have a lot of dog-friendly options (though we weren’t there very long to check them out).
Orvieto also had lots of parks and fun places to walk. I loved running ahead of mom on the cobblestones and going into all the little shops (which were all dog-friendly).
Mom says she also highly recommends Assisi, which was her favorite Umbrian town. I didn’t go to Assisi with her (sometimes it’s too cold for me because I don’t have a lot of fur, so I do a little less adventuring in the winter), but she said she promises to take my hiking there someday because she found this really beautiful hilly hike with views of the famous monastery there.
I love Italy.
I love how mom and I can go almost anywhere together. I love how it’s always busy and there are always other dogs around. And mom and I will definitely be going back soon. Maybe even for my birthday this June. (Mom says we’ll see, but I’m pretty good at convincing with snuggles and kisses, so I think yes.)
If you love city walks and sophisticated small dogs and pretty hill towns, I highly recommend a trip to the Italian countryside with your human. I know you’ll both love it.
About Our Foreign Correspondent: Luna Griffis is a full-time world-traveling pooch with a special love for big adventures (of course, when you’re 14 pounds, everything is kind of a big adventure). In 2012, Luna and her mom (Gigi Griffis) sold their stuff and took off around the world. You can follow their adventures at gigigriffis.com. Be sure to check out their new book. It is really amazing and totally unique with 100 interviews with locals in Italy giving you the inside scoop!