Dogs travel for free on Italy’s trains this summer

Italy’s principal rail company is allowing passengers to bring their dogs on trains for free this summer.

Trenitalia, the country’s main operator, recently announced that small pets including cats and dogs do not need to pay for the next few months.

Which animals can travel for free on Italy’s trains?

Trenitalia is giving passengers the chance to bring their small pets with them without paying this summer.

Dogs, cats and other pets can travel on the house if they fit within a carrier measuring a maximum of 70x30x50 centimetres. Animals must be placed within the carrier throughout the journey and passengers can only bring one pet per person.

The offer is valid for journeys on Trenitalia’s Freccia e Intercity trains. It is available for passengers travelling first and second class, as well as on Executive, Business, Premium and Standard tickets.

The rail company is allowing pets to travel for free until 15 September 2022.

Italo, another rail company, also permits dogs weighing up to 5 kilograms to travel for free inside a carrier.

Can I bring a larger dog?

Bigger dogs are permitted to travel on Trenitalia trains. However, they must pay the pet ticket price which varies depending on the passenger ticket.

They are also required to be kept on a leash and wear a muzzle.

To buy a pet ticket, passengers should select the “travel with your dog” option on the Trenitalia website, app or at ticket machines in stations before purchasing.

The cost of the ticket is half the price of a regular fare for a second class or standard ticket. Larger dogs are not permitted in Executive or Premium service levels, in the Working Area, Quiet Zone or Private seating areas. They are also not allowed on regional trains from 7am to 9am Monday to Friday.

On Italo trains, larger dogs also need a ticket, priced depending on the journey. The operator allows large dogs to travel in a “reserved space” next to passengers.

Does my dog need a passport?

Pet owners are required to bring their dog’s canine registry certificate and health booklet when travelling.

For foreign nationals, a pet passport can be provided instead. European pet passports can be obtained from an authorised vet.

Where can I stay with a dog in Italy?

There are many pet-friendly accommodation options throughout Italy.

On the island of Sicily, there are several villas where guests can bring pets. Rental site ‘Villatravellers’ has a selection of properties in different locations around the island including by the sea.

The accommodation site ‘Dog Welcome’ also lists holiday homes and apartments, B&Bs, camping sites, and country houses that welcome guests with pets across Italy.

Rome ranks as one of the best cities for travelling with pets with nearly 600 hotels that welcome dogs.

How can I keep my dog safe in Italy’s heatwave?

With Italy in the grip of a heatwave, some precautions should be taken when bringing a pet on holiday.

Dogs are at risk of heatstroke if not looked after properly. The symptoms of heatstroke are heavy panting, lethargy, drooling and vomiting.

Travellers should make sure they give their dog plenty of extra water. They should also keep their dog as cool as possible by going for walks early in the morning or in the evening. Pets should never be left inside cars.

Owners should also watch out for hot pavement surfaces and sand which can burn a dog’s paws.

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