Throughout Rome you will come face to face with numerous depictions of the ‘She-Wolf’ an important part of this city’s vast history. Through paintings, frescoes, and statues her myth ignites the tale of how she discovered and cared for the twin brothers of Romulus & Remus, who then went on to found Rome. A city with this many ties to the wolf couldn’t be more open and friendly to bringing a dog along with you while you discover the treasures of Rome.
Before diving into Tikka’s dog friendly adventure in Rome ( or if you must skip ahead ), we’ll recap our drive down from staying a few nights in Tuscany.
After an early departure from our blissful stay at a boutique resort (review coming soon) in the Chiusdino area of Tuscany we gathered our toll money and headed to the coast highway, passing through Grosetto on our way to Rome. Taking it very easy, we allowed 4 hours for the drive to Rome and planned a one hour lunch stop at an amazing UNESCO World Heritage site along the way….(what UNESCO site isn’t amazing…?)
From the official Necropolis of Tarquinia website:
In 2004, the Necropolis was declared to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it hosts an exceptional monumental cycle of painted tombs described as “the first chapter in the history of great Italian painting”. It is the largest necropolis in the area around the ancient Etruscan city of Tarquinia, comprising more than 6,000 underground Etruscan tombs that completely cover the extensive hill of Monterozzi. Adorned with scenes of human life that include huntsmen, fishermen, musicians, dancers, jugglers and athletes, the painted tombs illustrate the wealth and power of the occupants for whom they were built: they are a fitting symbol of their high social status.
At this stop at the Necropolis of Tarquinia, Tikka was welcome in every area of the archaeological grounds. She was unsure of the metal, dark staircases that lead you right down to the tombs themselves, so she happily snuggled into our arms. It was a good walk around and we welcomed a cold drink, a quick bite and some gelato in the shade once we had our fill of painted walls. It’s overwhelming how much is preserved.
Tikka even had time to make lunch time friends with this crazy cute and curious cat that came over to say hi.
Back on the road to Rome, we could have used Tikka’s help with some map reading , but as you would guess, she crashed out in the back of the car after her visit to Tarquinia. You read so many articles and blogs about how terrible the driving is in Rome, but if you plan it out it’s not too bad at all. We allowed oodles of time to arrive during daylight hours and navigated along the outer ring road, heeding advice on the best way to reach our parking garage. Instead of being surprised when we didn’t drive straight to our destination on our first try, we completely expected we’d have a few ‘adventures’ finding the right turn offs, so it never bothered us when we went in a few circles or passed the street we wanted.
By expecting the unexpected we arrived mentally intact and I’m sure Tikka appreciated that her humans were in fits of laughter when we drove around the same piazza 4 times, instead of being cranky and fed up with being in the car. If for any reason driving in Rome isn’t your cup of tea and you know your fuse would be short, park further out of the city and jump on the train – transit is so easy in Italy with your dog.
With the car securely parked under Villa Borghese, we walked through the connecting underground tunnel and came out right at the Spanish Steps, just 2 minutes from our Airbnb rental. And with that, our own little She-Wolf stepped into the sun ready to explore.
There is so much to see and do in Rome, we are splitting our experience into three parts. The first is ready for you to read here, taking us on an urban hike from the Spanish Steps, to the Colosseum and Circus Maximus.