Our first canine reporter puts his paws on the floor in Florence
River is NOSHtrekker’s first canine travel reporter. Living in Florence, Italy, he has his nose close to the ground and brings us a view of Italian life that is simultaneously objective and enthusiastic, like only a whippet can. His mother, our in-house stylist Kara, has ensured that River continues to develop his Italian sensibility by allowing him to roam the cobblestone streets of their current hometown (always supervised by a parent, of course!). Send him love on Instagram at @river_thewhippet
River the Whippet
Buongiorno amici miei,
Florence has been such a wonderful city for me to live in thanks to a law passed by the Italian government in 2008 that allows dogs to enter public places. Therefore, befitting to my adventurous nature, there is no place that I have not attempted to go.
I was almost four months old the first time I walked inside the medieval city walls. Sì, it was overwhelming. The city provided a pasta pot of smells and sounds that intoxicated me to the point of being deliriously happy in a “lucky dog” type of way. Freedom! Romance! Adventure! What more can one ask for in life?
Apart from being attached to a leash and escorted in different directions down narrow streets and pathways, Florence now feels more familiar. Leaving my mark on each corner also helps orientate me. Sure, there are plenty of other dogs who are ever-ready to camouflage my steps, but I pay absolutely no mind to them and regularly remark my route.
I zig-zag across the street, gaze at pigeons, stop at fountains and sniff between the cobblestones. Mindful of my reputation as a top-dog around town, I make the effort to greet every dog I meet. Sure, at times it interferes with my parent’s schedule of trying to get from A to B as quickly as possible, but unbeknownst to them, I am actually helping them improve their Italian. If your dog likes to greet the locals, then make sure you brush up on your Italian greetings! Hear that mama?
San Miniato al Monte
To walk in my paws for a day, start at one of the highest points in the city, the church of San Miniato al Monte. You can arrive by taxi, walk the tree-lined boulevard from Porta Romana, or climb the shortcut – up several flights of steep stairs, next to Piazzale Michelangelo. Surrounded by a beautiful wooded park, with only the sound of bells and birds, the Romanesque church is the best place for a panoramic view of Florence and to savour the surrounding Tuscan hillsides.
Next week: Gardino delle Rose and Il Rufrullo
P.S. I take fan mail in the form of comments below. Abbracci e baci xxx
River on the steps of San Miniato al Monte, Florence
River enjoying a stroll in the adjacent wooded park
River at Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence