When we first set off on this big travel adventure with Chewy and Abby, we didn't know how much gear we would need or want. In fact, the essentials boils down to a pretty short list which I've shared below. When we take short trips with them, we usually dump all of this stuff into a standard school-size backpack or a duffle bag. In Europe, we kept their stuff in a plastic bin so that it was separate from the rest of our things. Either way, these are the essentials to keep your doggie happy while on the road.
In addition to the below, we also pack the following:
- Dog food
- Dog treats
- Pet passport and most recent vaccination records
- Collar with tags that list the dogs' names, international cell phone number, and e-mail address
- Benadryl for Abby's allergies and Glucosamine/Chondriton and Baby Aspirin for Chewy's arthritis
We were told that Venice is one of the world's great pet-friendly cities because there are no cars. Indeed, pets are everywhere in Venice, though it's primarily a small dog city. We did a good bit of exploring with Chewy and Abby and we think they really enjoyed their time in the city of canals.
If you want a quick overview of our stay in Venice, check out this short video highlighting our trip with the pups in this beautiful city.
Train and parking lot
Arriving in Venice With Pets
Because cars are not allowed in Venice, there are only three main ways to bring pets into Venice:
(1) Park outside the city or in one of the city's parking lots and take the vaporetto (sea boat) or train
(2) Train into the city
(3) Fly into Venice and take a vaporetto (sea boat) or train
There are three main parking lots in Venice:
(a) Piazzale Roma: On the island of Venice, within a 10 minute walk to the Santa Lucia train station and vaporetto stop
(b) Tronchetto: On a separate island and you can take the People Mover into the island
(c) Mestre: On the mainland and about a 15 minute train ride into Venice
We decided to park in Mestre and found it to be very convenient with the dogs. We parked for about 8 Euros per day, walked across the street, bought a ticket for us (4 Euros each) and a ticket for each of the dogs (2 Euros each), and waited for the train to Santa Lucia. The train leaves every 10 minutes and the ride only takes about 15 minutes into the Santa Lucia train station, where it is very simple to take the vaporetto (or sea bus) to other areas.
Getting on a vaporetto with dogs
Getting Around Venice With Dogs
Once in Venice, the best way to get around is to walk or take the vaporetto. The vaporetto is a sea bus which allows dogs, though dogs must be muzzled on board the vaporetto. We never took Chewy and Abby on the vaporettos because they tended to be VERY crowded and neither of our dogs do well in crowds, but we saw other folks taking their dogs aboard the sea bus. If your dog worries about crowds, then I would suggest trying to take the vaporetto either early in the morning or the middle of the day when crowds tend to be less. Dogs travel free on the vaporettos.
It has been far, far too long since I've updated this blog, not because of lack of posting material, but because we've been seeing and doing so much. In the last two months, we've traveled like a whirlwind and the dogs have gone through towns, cities, and countryside. But, back in October (yes, I know that was almost a year ago, now), we took the dogs to Tuscany and, one afternoon, we explored the Roberto Ciulli Park.
Ah, Rome . . . magical, wonderful, impossible to hate. This was one of the cities we were most excited about traveling with Chewy and Abby because we knew that Rome is an incredibly pet-friendly city. And, yes, it was!
Roman Nest Apartment
We LOVED our Rome apartment. This gorgeous and spacious two bedroom and two bath apartment included a small kitchen, blazing fast Internet (a rarity in Italy), and a lovely small private garden which was perfect for early morning dog necessities and for us to eat lunch on sunny afternoons. Surprisingly, there is free street parking right in front of the house so we were able to park our car for the entire stay and used the car to take the dogs to the park every morning (more on the park below.)
To get to the major tourist sites, we took the bus directly across the road from the apartment. During peak hours, we usually didn't have to wait for the bus for more than five minutes and we were at Piazza Navona and Campo de Fiori within 15 minutes. In non-peak hours, the bus was not very frequent so keep that in mind when planning your schedule. The house is a 10 minute walk to Vatican City or you can take the bus and be there in less than 5 minutes. The metro is down the hill to the right hand side (a bit tricky to find the first time) but very convenient to get to the Colosseum and other major sites on the Metro line.
Lastly, Maria and her husband were wonderful hosts and made us feel so welcome in our apartment. They were so excited to meet the dogs and pet them and we absolutely loved staying at their place. We highly, highly recommend this house as an excellent pet-friendly (and human-friendly) option in Rome.
Green forests and super-high waterfalls. Chewy and Abby gave the North Georgia mountains four paws up.
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