DO NOT QUIT. EVERY DIFFICULTY IS AN OPPORTUNITY IN DISGUISE.
Jumping around the city (or moving to other cities) by public transport is not that complicated. You just need the “right” information, a “dose” of common sense “and “good “behaviour.
Starting from the end, we do believe that anyone of us has the moral duty to be a PAWsitive example, a good “dogfather” or “dogmother”. “Respect to be respected”, if we give the “good example”, we will definitely have more chances to create a better “6-legged” world where creatures with 2 and 4 legs are naturally and pacifically coexisting … DOGether.
For this reason you will be a diligent parent, you will keep your dogs on leash, you will kindly ask them to wear the muzzle when required, pick the “potty” and watch (predict if you can) your dog’s behaviour in every situation, especially when other dogs, kids or unknown people are around you. This is simple isn’t it ?
MOVING AROUND THE CITY: SUBWAY, BUS, TRAM
Wherever you move around Milan, you will be under the “law” of ATM (Azienda Trasporti Milanesi), a public company owned by the Milan Municipality that is managing the integrated transport system and other innovative services such as “Guidami” (car sharing), “BikeMi” (bike sharing).
Before you start “jumping around” you should decide what ticket is most suitable for you: single, daily pass, family package. We do suggest to buy he daily ticket. With only 4.50 Euros you will have unlimited journeys on subway, bus and tram for 24 hours. A “wallet friendly” solution to discover the city and jumping on a tram (the most poetic public transport) or underground (the most effective one) every time your feet are “begging for mercy” and your legs are “menacing to strike”.
Now, talking about travelling in Milan with your 4-legged friends, you have probably tried to get the information (in English) by the web, but apart from a few comments on Tripadvisor or other travel sites, we guess you could not find the official info on the official site. Do not worry about that … we are here to make your 6 legged life easier (how can you be supposed to know and respect local rules if those are written in Italian only?). We are now quoting the regulation in Italian (as there is no English official version) and will translate for you the most important rules.
- These rules only apply to dogs (different rules are applied to cats and other pets);
- Only small and medium size dogs are accepted on board;
- Dogs have to pay the (full) ticket, be on leash and wear the muzzle;
- Dogs will not be admitted to travel during the peak hours (7.30-9.30am and 5.30-8.30pm);
- Special exceptions are made for guide dogs (they will not pay the ticket and have no duty to wear the muzzle);
- Only one dog is admitted on a single “transport unit”;
- Dogs should not disturb other passengers and should not hinder the entrance/exit doors.
Going now from theory to real life, as far as our direct experience is concerned, no driver or inspector will ever complain about the size of your dog (by the way what does “middle size” mean ? … how tall … how heavy …?) if your 4-legged mate is on leash, behaving well, wearing the muzzle (or hanging it from the neck). No one has ever been asking us to exhibit the dog’s ticket (but if you don’t want any discussion or bad surprises you should buy it) and no one has ever complained about the time (we normally go to office and come back during peak hours). You will obviously avoid (for your dog’s comfort and respect to other people) to jump on a train, tram or bus when it is too crowded (this is what we call “common sense”), keep the distance from other dogs when their “chemistry” is not actually “real love” and do all your best to respect other passengers (reading their body language is always the best strategy to avoid troubles).
Actually …rather than having troubles … when we travel on public transport DOGether with our furry guys we normally get to socialize with many people who are enchanted and sweetened by the impeccable behaviour and the sweet eyes of our furry boy.
MOVING TO OTHER CITIES BY TRAIN: TRENITALIA
Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy, owned by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (Italian Railways).
If you decide to visit another city such as Venice, Florence, Rome you might consider to travel by train.
You can choose among different kind of solutions: Regional trains (slow but cheap), the “Frecce“ (fast but expensive), Intercity (slower but cheaper than the Frecce) and Night trains (comparable to Intercity level).
Here is what you have to know if you are travelling on Trenitalia with your 4-legged friends: Trenitalia official site.
- These rules apply to any size of dog (excluding small size dogs who travel free of charge when kept in the appropriate container no larger than 70x30x50 – each traveller can bring only one container);
- Dogs have to be on leash and wear the muzzle;
- Dogs have to pay the ticket (50% of the full ticket – excluding guide dogs);
- Dogs cannot occupy the seats of passengers;
- Dogs do not have to disturb other passengers (If this occurs, they will be required to occupy another place, or get off the train);
- Dogs are not allowed in the Restaurant/Bar Wagons (except for guide dogs);
- The “passport of the dog has to be shown when purchasing the ticket and during the trip if required (otherwise the traveller will be subject to penalty and has to get off at the first stop).
Going once more from theory to real life, our suggestions are very simple. Dogs always on leash, muzzle close at hand, bring a little carpet for their confort on the floor (they pay 50% of the full ticket to stay on the floor…). If travelling for more than a couple of hours do not forget some “gnummy” snacks and water. When the train is fully booked it will be a serious problem to accomodate the dog on the floor without “disturbing” other passengers. In this case we suggest you to contact the inspector in charge and ask for a better seat. Please note that you will not be able to buy the on line ticket (as you need to show the dog’s passport) then make sure you purchase your ticket in advance; during the peak season this operation might not be painless in terms of time (be ready to queue especially in touristic cities such as Florence, Venice and Rome). Another useful tip: make sure you print the “official regulation” and show it to the ispectors just in case something “goes wrong”. According to our experience the crew is not always well informed on these “doggy” rules so … being a well informed 6-legged traveler might be a very important plus.
MOVING TO OTHER CITIES BY TRAIN: ITALO
Italo is a new and modern transport service, providing a high speed travel solution and managed by a private company. These ultra-modern train, with differet ambiences and very professional staff, also provide a special service to our furry friends. Here is what you have to know if you are travelling on Italo DOGether with your 4-legged friends: Italo official site.
- You can transport small dogs under 10 Kg in specific travel containers;
- Guide dogs can travel for free on Italo without any restrictions on size or weight;
- Also XXL sized dogs (i.e. those over 10 kg), can travel on Italo’s High Speed Trains;
- Dogs are allowed to travel on all trains between 10am and 4pm, avoiding the morning and evening commuting periods;
- Dogs have to be on leash and wear the muzzle;
- Booking for the service must be made at least 24 hours before the planned travelling date via the “Pronto Italo Contact Center” (Phone: 06-0708);
- The price for transporting a dog is set at 30% of the Flex or Economy tickets in Smart, eXtra Large and Prima (according to availability), and a fixed price of 20 euro for those choosing to travel in a Club Executive Salotto (private compartment);
- When you board on Italo train, you will find a specific area reserved for dogs, one in each journey ambience (Smart, eXtra Large, Prima and Club Executive Salotto), chosen to offer a comfortable environment for the dogs, their owners, and those who don’t enjoy travelling in the company of animals;
- On the train the dog owner will be given an “I love dog” bag containing a hygienic mat, made of super-absorbent anti-odour polymers, where your dog can comfortably settle down for the journey;
- To transport dogs you must have the registration certificate with you. In the case of travellers from foreign countries, the animals must have the identification system and passport required by EC Reg. no. 998/2003, where applicable.
Going once more from theory to real life, our suggestions are very simple. The carpet is supplied by Italo and you don’t even need to bring your own. If travelling for more than 2 hours do not forget snacks and water. Your dog will travel next to you in a very comfortable space. Please note that you will not be able to buy the on line ticket (you have to call 24 hours prior to your desired departure or going to Casa Italo offices in person). Make sure you purchase your ticket in advance as during the peak season (or during the week-ends) the trains might be fully booked. The crew is very kind, professional and very well informed on “doggy” rules. Enjoy your trip!
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