There are a lot of famous sites in Italy and with only a few weeks to explore a country with so much history and culture it’s hard to pick and choose what to spend time exploring and what you have to add to your ‘next time!’ list. When planning our road trip around Italy with our dog we were ecstatic to learn we could take Tikka to Pompeii with us (small dogs only), it quickly became a ‘this time!’ stop.
It was an amazing day, starting out early by meeting up with some good friends who joined us from England, then driving over a scenic, windy road taking us over the Amalfi coast mountains from Ravello, to descend on Pompeii as the gates were opening. By getting a jump on the crowds we were able to find parking close by, at the Piazza Immacolata entrance and beat the heat. For only a couple Euros we parked in front of a restaurant, listened for a couple minutes about how wonderful the food is there while we paid for the spot, used the washroom and bought some water and some guides.
Pompeii was an incredible Roman town of 11,000 inhabitants, locked in time by the destruction caused from a neighboring volcano, Mt. Vesuvius, around 80AD. The spewing ash that erupted from the crater covered the town and preserved the people, structures and even the culture of the Pompeii citizens. Unlike visiting a museum or a smaller heritage site, you are fully immersed in the day to day life of an ancient time as the area is just so huge.
Walking through the endless streets, you can pop into houses of all social classes and think back to what everyday life was like. Then stroll up a main street to visit the hub of activity at the forum or imagine the games at the amphitheater. There is even a brothel to walk through with a menu of various services painted on the walls for customers to choose from.
That is an incredibly brief run down of what you’ll discover and describing this town and what you’ll find could easily become a novel. Staying on point, this is about bringing your dog along for the visit. The site is extensive and could be exhausting for people and dogs on a hot, overcrowded day. We gave ourselves a 4 hour limit (including a lunch stop) which only scratched the surface but was enough to get a really good overview. It’s a lot of walking and stopping to check things out so not very strenuous on us or Tikka, but going in the middle of summer could drain your mental batteries pretty quickly.
Tips for taking your dog with you to Pompeii:
- Bring water and a travel bowl
- Dogs are allowed in the food court – eat before 12pm to avoid the lineups and to get a seat.
- According to the PompeiiSites.org website, you are allowed to bring small dogs, but the guideline is not specific: Animals Big dogs are not allowed within the archaeological area. Animals who are permitted to enter the site need to be held with a leash, and taken in the arms of their owners when entering the buildings. In case visitors run into animals who are alone, please do not approach them.
- Dogs must be carried inside the houses or closed in areas
- Be diligent in looking out for strays. We saw 4 or 5 strays and just carried Tikka when we saw one to avoid any contact. This is their territory and respected their space.
- Go early for less crowds
- Mid June to Mid September has the highest temperatures – if you go during these weeks, go in the morning and make it a shorter visit
The second part of our day in this area deserves it’s own spotlight – we climbed Mt. Vesuvius and stared down into the belly of the beast that caused all this destruction…check it our here!
You can catch up on Tikka’s dog friendly road trip around Italy on the VanDoggo Travel Page.