Maggie is an 11-year-old Beardie rescue dog from the American Midwest who has spent several months a year in Venice, Italy.
In this illustrated dog blog, we're chronicling Maggie's adventures--and ours--as part-time residents of Italy's most dog- and pedestrian-friendly city. We're also sharing photos and video clips about dogs (and the occasional cat) in Venice.
From the street, the Palazzo Abadessa (residenza d'epoca) looks like the perfect boutique hotel for dog owners: On the lintel above the entrance gate, a stone carving of a dog welcomes visitors, and the grassy courtyard is big enough for a game of fetch.
Unfortunately, the only dog allowed on the premises is the petrified pooch above the entrance. If you want to bring Fido or Fifi, you'll need to find another hotel.
Still, if you're visiting Venice without your cane, the four-star Palazzo Abadessa is worth considering. It's loaded with traditional Venetian spendour, has its own water entrance, and is located in a pleasant neighborhood within convenient walking distance of the Piazza San Marco and the Grand Canal.
In Venice, dogs are welcome just about everywhere. They wander without leashes in the city's calli and campi, sit with their owners in restaurants and bars, enter most shops (except supermarkets, where they're usually tied up inside the entrance), and ride water buses and water taxis.
Many local dogs don't mind hopping in and out of traghetti, the gondola ferries that cross the Grand Canal. Here's a sequence that Cheryl photographed at the Campo del Traghetto in San Marco, where a boat was about to cross the Grand Canal to Dorsoduro:
ABOVE: A lady and her Dachshund approach the Traghetto Santa Maria del Giglio pier.
ABOVE: The Dachshund, seeing a paparazza, strikes a profile pose.
ABOVE: The lady and her dog board the waiting traghetto.
ABOVE: One of the oarsmen (in the white baseball cap) can't resist giving the Dachshund a pat.
ABOVE: The dog makes itself comfortable among the human passengers and their gear.
ABOVE: The Dachshund and its fellow passengers enjoy the short voyage to the opposite bank of the Grand Canal.
Tip: For more information about riding traghetti in Venice (including prices), see our Venice Traghetto article at Veniceforvisitors.com.
ABOVE: Maggie sports a girlie version of U.S. Secret Service sunglasses.
Maggie is still obsessed with Johnny Depp, who continues to ignore her whimpering requests for an e-mail. Still, she refuses to give up hope: Now that Johnny owns a palazzo in Venice, Maggie is confident that her skills will lead to a job as a bodyguard for Johnny and his family.
As a herding dog, Maggie is ready to keep Johnny's kids from wandering off, and she can nip at the heels of any paparazzi who make nuisances of themselves.
So how about it, Johnny? E-mail maggie (at) europeforvisitors.com when you're ready to add a celebrity service dog to your retinue.