Two out of five Italians will take their pets with them on holiday this summer, TripAdvisor reported in a recent survey.
These results are not surprising for anyone who knows that Italy has some six million officially registered canines, and that they are largely welcome in bars and restaurants. Dogs can join their humans in many shops across the country, while in all bigger Italian cities there are dogs' areas in almost every park. Some cities even have - dog-only beaches.
BauBeach is the oldest dog-friendly seaside beach in Italy, and it comprises some 7.000 square meters and can welcome more than 100 dogs and their humans. It is around a half hour drive from Rome, and an annual membership costs 11 Euros plus 4 Euros entrance for each visit. For that, the beach provides lifeguards, a vet, and doggy showers.
Beautiful Lake Martignano, located some 30 km north-west of Rome, is what many call a “heaven for dogs”. Together with some more typical agritourist services such as a farm restaurant, bars, and a beach for humans, Casale di Martignano offers a large portion of its beach exclusively to dogs so they can swim, play, and relax with their humans.
Italians are famous for loving their dogs. Tourists usually get surprised when they see that the streets are filled with people walking their dogs and that their owners very often caress each other's canines.
Some 60% of Italians interviewed by TripAdvisor said they would change their destination if pet-friendly facilities were not available. That is why there is an array of hotels that let dogs in. The provision of pet-friendly services by hotels has risen compared to five years ago, the same TripAdvisor survey revealed.
If you prefer camping over hotels, you can be sure that many campsites across Italy are dog friendly, and many of them are well-equipped to host other pets as well. It is possible to find dog-friendly campsites at the seaside, in the mountains, and in the countryside. If you tell your campsite owner that you travel with your dog, you will be given a space far away from other dogs, to limit the risk of fights among animals.
Of course, you have to respect some rules: your dog must be on a leash, he/she must wear a muzzle and must travel with his/her sanitary booklet. Dog-friendly campsites can advise you of veterinary services in case of emergency.
All in all, Italy is a great place for enjoying your free time with your dog. It’s such a beautiful country, and it would be a pity for your furry friend not to see it, right?
Photos: Lidija Pisker