Travelling with Your Pet in Italy

TRAINS

You can take your pet on board trains in Italy.

Small dogs, cats and other small domestic pets, carried in the appropriate carriers not bigger than 70 x 30 x 50 cm, are allowed free of charge in first and second class carriages of all trains, but only one carrier is allowed per passenger.

A passenger can bring aboard one dog of any size on a short (1.5m) lead and wearing a muzzle on:

  • Express, IC and ICN trains in first or second class
  • on Frecciabianca, Frecciarossa and Frecciargento in first, second, busienss and standard class, but not Executive, Premium or silent areas.
  • on regional trains in the corridor or entrance of the last carriage, except from 7-9 in the morning Mon – Fri.
  • in sleeping cars or couchettes if you you have acquired the whole car.

For dogs on leads, when you buy your own ticket of whatever class, you need to get another second class ticket with special 50% discount, which you can buy from any ticket office or authorised vendor (but NOT online).

Dogs can never use seats intended for passengers and must not disturb fellow travellers or you will be asked to leave the train.

You can only take guide dogs into the dining or bar areas of a train.

All guide dogs travel free of charge.

BUSES

This can vary from region to region, city to city so you will need to find out in advance what the situation is in the place you intend travelling around. In general, small dogs and cats transported in carriers do not present a problem. Small dogs can also be carried by the owner although they should have a lead on and a muzzle. Some bus services allow small pets to travel free, others require a ticket.

Medium sized dogs are generally permitted to travel on buses, but please check first. They should have a muzzle and short lead and usually they have to have their own ticket. There may be a special place on the bus (eg directly behind the driver) for dogs or you may be able to keep them with you, but they are never allowed to occupy a seat and all the rules about not annoying other passengers apply.

Larger dogs should also technically be allowed on buses, but it does seem to depend on the city, region or company so you need to check. The muzzle and short lead are of course obligatory as is a ticket.

Guide dogs can board buses and travel free.

CAR

Italian Traffic Law article 169 is the one you want here and it is quite strict.

A small single pet (ie smaller than 25kg) can be transported as long as it does not distract or impede or endanger the driver or other road users. The pet must be in a carrier or attached to a special safety belt.

A single pet larger than 25kg must be either in the back in a special container or cage, or separated from the driver by a metal grille or other type of secure dog guard.

You are not permitted to transport more than one pet unless they are in the appropriate cage or “container” or behind a dog guard at the back of the vehicle which must be a permanent structure installed and checked by a professional.

If caught breaking this law, you can be fined from 71 to 286 euros and get a point on your licence.

PLANE

There are international air regulations for the transportation of domestic animals, but it is always best to check with your individual airline before travelling.

If making an international flight your airline will want all the necessary paperwork to ensure your animal is allowed to enter the country you are flying to.

The animals should usually be over 8 weeks old, vaccinated, wormed, in good health, not be aggressive and should have all their documents in order and to hand.

In general each flight has provision in the cabin for a certain number of small pets. Dogs under 10kg and cats should be transported in their carriers while birds and other small pets should be in their appropriate cages.

Medium-sized or large dogs must travel in the pressurised hold in the appropriate reinforced container. Some airlines have special staff to assist with this and they may suspend transport in the hold in periods of extreme heat or cold. They may also advise travelling at a particular time of day to avoid extremes in temperature. Again, check with your airline well in advance.

Guide dogs can travel with their owners but with a lead and muzzle.