Explore. Experience. Engage.

Notes on Outdoor Eating and Dogs

Author: Host Ciao (More Trip Reviews by Host Ciao)
Date of Trip: January 2013



Eating Outside:

In Bologna I was at an outdoor seating area eating lunch (more on outdoor seating in a bit) and next to me was a couple with, I think a miniature dachshund (spelling?). The dog was dressed for the weather with a leather coat with knitted trim all around and with a fur collar though it could have been a hood, just not on head. The man held the dog on his lap or his shoulder through the whole meal. Another guest at lunch was a bulldog looking type also with a coat on, but he sat under the table most of the time.

Now to the outdoor eating bit. Yes, in Italy if a restaurant has outdoor seating other more usual times of the year, many keep the outdoor service in the winter. Some put a sort of plastic room around the sides of the table area; some don't. But all have heaters. Some of the heaters look like lamps with flat tops and electric coil like heat elements. Others are tall triangular metal lamps above large tanks about three times as big as any gas grill I've seen. The tanks are hidden, but when the heater is lit, the gas flame goes right up the triangular structure. Both types do give off nice heat, but you have to be near them. I did eat outside that one time in Bologna because most of the restaurants were really crowded, but I'll take the nice inside table where it's warm any day over the atmosphere of the outdoor heaters. Even in Rome where the weather was mostly very good high 30's or 40's at night and often during the day in the low fifties, lots of people seemed to like sitting outside. Can't say that's an Italian winter idea I will adopt.

Italians and their dogs

I haven’t forgotten my promise to write about Italians and their dogs. I will throw in a sample here. Remember when I talked about fashions and finding glitter on every clothes item. Well, that also seems to go for dogs. A couple of days ago I saw some sort of fluffy, small dog (I am not good at breeds) stepping along proudly in her (I assume) pink coat with a glitter outline of a poodle on her back. Her companion dog had a bright plaid coat. It rained yesterday, and I saw a dog in a rather bedraggled orange coat which made me remember the one in Florence where it rained more than here wearing a bright red rain slicker and seeming very happy. One troubling sight with dogs is beggars with one or two dogs. And one day I saw an older man sitting on the pavement with a "help" sign and five dogs. My change went into that one. But what was troubling was that a couple of hours later I went by the same place--same five dogs, different man. I will say about the begging with dogs is that they look alert, not doped up as I have seen on other trips. And, of course, there are the Italians who go to the park with their dogs, which is fine and then let them off the leash, when all the signs say not to do that. Ah well!

I knew about people bringing their dogs into restaurants, but had not heard about it in Italy, but I did eat lunch with a couple of man's or woman's best friends. In Florence a woman came into the restaurant with one of those tiny dogs that have the furry ears that look like wings. When she was seated, she proceeded to take off her pet's coat, but underneath was a sweater--remember it was cold in Florence. The owner, manager or whatever (he only stood around talking on his phone or occasionally talking to a customer or two) came up with a chair just for the dog to sit on while the owner and a friend ate.

In Bologna I was at an outdoor seating area eating lunch (more on outdoor seating in a bit) and next to me was a couple with, I think a miniature dachshund (spelling?). The dog was dressed for the weather with a leather coat with knitted trim all around and with a fur collar though it could have been a hood, just not on head. The man held the dog on his lap or his shoulder through the whole meal. Another guest at lunch was a bulldog looking type also with a coat on, but he sat under the table most of the time.

Generally I would say only large furry dogs are not wearing coats even when it's in the 50's (f) in Rome. I even saw a rather small Santa dog though he didn't seem happy about the hat attached to his coat. I also saw a puppy dressed in a leopard skin print coat and a red leather outfit. A couple also had coats with legs that snapped and openings in the necessary places. Lots of dogs get carried too. For some reason I saw a couple of men carrying really tiny dogs inside the front of their coats while the woman with them pushed or carried the child. One woman was carrying her furry puppy in a sling in the front like some women carry their babies. And then there was the couple with matching dogs in matching blue and white carriers like large purses with little doggie heads sticking out. And to wrap this up though I couldn't say for sure--I wondered why a stylishly dressed woman had the dog on the leash; the man was just walking, and the boy around 11 or so was pushing a baby stroller with a plastic cover. They were strolling so I walked on by and saw that the stroller/buggy had a dog in it. I am guessing that this was the family's elderly dog that they were taking on an evening passeggiata with them. Italians do love their dogs

Read More about my 2 months in Italy:

The start: Two Months in Italy - Venice
Florence
Bologna
Sorrento
Naples
Christmas in Italy
Rome
Some Notes: Outdoor eating and Italians LOVE dogs

Related Trip Reviews
Florence Trip Reviews
Rome Trip Reviews
Italy Trip Reviews
Europe Trip Reviews
Send Us Your Trip Review!
X

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@independenttraveler.com to your address book.

We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our privacy policy and Terms of Use.