Dogs in Lazio

One of the most frequent categories of questions that crops up from my holiday home guests concerns dogs: will they be welcome and is possible to travel with them?

Generally, dogs are made very welcome in Lazio. In my opinion, the attitude to dogs is different but just as enthusiastic as in the UK. While we in the UK tend to lay emphasis on regular dog-walking to keep ourselves and our dogs fit, the emphasis in Lazio seems to be more on dogs as companions. This means that you will see dogs in situations that would be unusual in the UK, e.g. in shopping malls, restaurants and so on. The rule is: ask and you may be pleasantly surprised. For example, my local swimming pool – which is in a rural setting – was happy to admit the well-behaved dog of a guest for the day.

The following photo shows dogs disporting themselves with their owners at Lago Martignano.

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This photo of a posing family group was snapped at the Gardens of Ninfa.

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At the top-end of doggy tourism, well-heeled canines can even stay over at the Waldorf Astoria in Rome http://www.romecavalieri.it/pamperedpets.php, where they will be looked after and even taken for a spa at the Domus Aventina dog beauty farm http://www.domusaventina.com/index.htm.

Dogs can be taken on the buses and underground in Rome. The rules of ATAC, the authority running most of the transport in Rome, are that small/medium-sized dogs can be taken on public transport with a lead and muzzle and they have to have a ticket. On the metro they are allowed in the first and last carriages and on buses you have to enter at the rear.I checked on the ATAC site, which runs most of the transport in Rome

Unfortunately a fair few dogs are abandoned around Rome and there are many private re-homing initiatives – particularly on Facebook.

At the other end of the spectrum, pampered pooches even have their own beach near Rome. At Bau Beach, dogs are given their own water bowls, sun umbrellas and pooper scoopers on arrival and it is not uncommon to see immaculately turned-out Romans dining with their Great Danes at the beach restaurant.