Now that I’m in Florence with Memi (pictured, in the bag), I’ve been forced to change my lifestyle: I am no longer allowed to access several public areas in Florence, such as museums.
Well, let me tell you what I found out: by regional law your dog can access any public area (shops, museums) in Tuscany, unless you find a panel showing the ‘dogs not admitted’ sign.
You should always bring with you leash + muzzle, just in case.
To put on the sign, the museum manager (or any shop owner) must ask a permission to the local Municipality.
However, you will always meet people working in museums (or public spaces) who prefer to tell you that your dog is not welcome, in order to avoid extra work, such as poo on the ground or other visitors’ complaints, etc – in case your dog has bad manners.
If they deny you the access and you feel very determined then you’ll have to show them that you’re informed about the official law.
This is Italy, these are (a few of) the Italian unwritten rules:
- Shops/Bar/Cafes: if you pay you can bring your dog, unless the ugly sign is on.
- Only what is written (with ink) on paper is proof of rule, but there’s a chance this rule can be ignored, go on reading
- Every time is worth a try – Generally speaking about public spaces, they might let you in even with the sign on, if your dog is not 50 kg! Don’t ask, try to get in, and in case they stop you just smile and say you didn’t notice the sign. However, if they have a person on the entrance/you need to buy a ticket, look at him/her and say ‘buongiorno’ with your dog in your arms and see if they stop you. It would be a lot worse snaking in, they would see it as a personal offense, like if you were trying to trick him/her.
Depending on the area people are more or less flexible about rules. Usually, the more you travel to the South of Italy, the more flexible people are
So in case the museum staff don’t like dogs and refuse you the access, just tell them that you don’t see any sign stating that dogs are not admitted and you know that, according to Legge regionale 20 ottobre 2009 , n. 59 you are allowed to introduce your dog in any public area.
If they keep on insisting show them the printed version.
If you’re lucky enough, they will just let you in, perhaps without knowing that according to the same law your dog should wear a muzzle 😉
And if you don’t want to struggle for your rights while on holidays, here’s a list of dog friendly museums in Florence, my personal experience (latest update: May 2014):
Dogs are not welcome at:
Palazzo Vecchio Museum
Museo Casa Davanzati (they show the ugly sign, sigh!)
See my other post about other dog friendly museums in Tuscany.