PCS Adventures Overseas: Italy

PCS Adventures Overseas has been created to help other service members and their families PCS overseas, more specifically Italy. Note: this is an unofficial, non-profit blog and information is subject to change. **Please feel free to leave a comment with any corrections or new updates you would like to share!



Getting There





About PCS Adventures Overseas

PCS Adventures Overseas has been created as a resource for military families transitioning overseas, especially families moving to Italy. This is a non-profit blog created by a military spouse wanting to share her own research to make moving overseas a little easier. There are many questions about moving overseas and this blog aims to answer those questions. Please note, this is an unofficial blog and information may not always be 100% accurate or up to date.

Want to Travel while Overseas?

PCS Adventures Overseas also has a passion for traveling and researching all things related to travel. Our Adventures Overseas page shares our travel research and experiences while exploring Europe. Our Adventures Overseas download page is full of great travel tips and things to do in Italy, Europe, and beyond, so don’t forget to check it out!

10 Reasons Why I Love Amazon Italy!

One of my favorite discoveries after moving overseas is that Amazon operates in other countries besides the U.S. There is Amazon: Italy, Germany, UK,  Spain, France, Japan… and more! Each participating country has their own corresponding website and their own unique inventory. They are completely legitimate Amazon websites and you can even use the same Amazon.com account from the states. All you need is a local mailing address and you are all set!


10 Things I Love About Amazon Italy

  1. Reviews: By nature I am an intense researcher of all things (hence the existence of this blog).  Whenever I intend to spend money on anything whether it be hotel stays, restaurant dining, or online shopping I always try to read the reviews. Why buy low quality if I can buy high quality at the same affordable price? With a little help from Google translate I can read reviews in English and compare items just like I did on Amazon.com in the states.
  2. Research & Comparison: Being able to research and compare items on Amazon can save you money. Choosing appliances that have multiple functions or added features can also save you money. For example, my food processor can be used as a drink blender and a vegetable slicer. My microwave has a grill function for reheating pizza and a steam function for vegetables. My hand blender comes with a bowl and stand, so that it can be used be used as a stand mixer. My vacuum cleaner can clean carpet, tile, high ceilings, and upholstery. Right there I save by not having to purchase a blender, mandolin slicer, toaster oven, vegetable steamer, stand mixer, hard floor vacuum. carpet vacuum, and hand vacuum.
  3. Fast Shipping: Each Amazon website ships  directly from their own country. Everything I order from Amazon Italy is delivered to my doorstep in 2-3 days. I don’t have to wait 10 or more days for my package to ship from the states to my APO address, then wait in the never ending line at the post office to pick up my package. Plus, I don’t have to waste time arguing with the post office that my package arrived two weeks ago when their outdated computer system never printed out a notification for my mail box. With Amazon Italy you can even upgrade to Prime for  only 10 euros  a year, although a bit unnecessary with the already fast shipping. As soon as we moved out of the hotel and into our new home I hit the “order” button on Amazon and voila!
  4. 220 Volt Appliances: Buying 220 volt appliances to replace your American 120 volt appliances can present a real challenge when you first arrive. Besides not having a vehicle and being unfamiliar  with the area, you also don’t understand the Italian language or recognize any of the brands. The PX on base has a very small selection of 220 volt appliances and you are usually limited to one type of coffee, vacuum, or blow dryer (if they have it in stock). Even appliances found within the Italian economy tend to be either overpriced or poorly rated. With Amazon Italy you have a vast selection of 220 volt appliances to choose from and you don’t have to go through the hassle of figuring out everything in Italian.
  5. Low Prices: As I mentioned before, appliances on the Italian economy tend to be overpriced when comparing the same exact item on Amazon Italy. When we first arrived I even scouted out items at the local BestBuy/Wal-Mart-like stores (Emisfero/MediaWorld), the discount kitchen store at the Palladio mall, and the PX. I took pictures of 220 volt appliances and their prices, then went back to the hotel to look them up online. The majority of the time, Amazon was the clear winner in terms of price. We even had the Italian version of BestBuy (MediaWorld) create an estimate for a VAT (value added tax) refund on all of the items we wanted to buy. Even with the VAT refund at MediaWorld, Amazon Italy with VAT included still costed less! Our microwave alone was 60 euros less on Amazon Italy! The few items that were cheaper only amounted to a few euros difference. Although the discount appliance store at the mall selling cheap, off brand appliances may have been cheaper, I questioned  the quality and lifespan of the appliance in the long run.
  6. Selection: Finding things on the Italian economy can be quite a task. You won’t find a Hobby Lobby store with a giant selection of scrapbook paper, sewing fabric, and paints all under one roof. You will have to buy scrapbook paper at a stationary store, fabric at a sewing shop, and paints at the local hardware store. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. The small, often family-owned shops are what makes Italy beautiful and I love the adventure of discovering those little places! That being said, sometimes the American in me wants all these random things at once and I want it now! With Amazon Italy I can find a great selection of everything from craft supplies to car parts all in one place. So if you are in search of something difficult to find, take a look on Amazon first.
  7. Convenience: Being able to shop from your computer is very convenient, especially since you won’t find a “one-stop” stop shopping mecca of everything you need here. It also means you won’t be driving around from store to store to pick up or compare items. I didn’t have to watch the yard sale pages like a hawk or meet up with people multiple times on the yard sale pages. It was so simple to have everything in my shopping cart and click the order button as soon as we moved into our house. I just had to make sure I was home to receive the package and sign for it.
  8. Few Restrictions: Ordering things from the states can be problematic due to restrictions on what can be sent through the mail. They won’t send heavy or large items (i.e. furniture, rugs, sport/gym equipment) and they won’t send some hazardous materials (i.e. baby items, electronics with built in batteries, flammable liquids like paint markers). Some sellers just simply refuse to send anything to an APO address. On Amazon Italy I can order furniture, bicycles, tablets, and craft paints. I can have anything on Amazon Italy delivered to my Italian address and shipping is usually FREE, even on furniture!
  9. International Shipping: If you can’t find what you are looking for on Amazon Italy, you can also look at the Amazon websites for other countries. There will be a lot of overlap, but there will be some more unique items as well. Amazon Germany for example, had a much better selection of furniture than Amazon Italy. Amazon UK had a bigger selection of colors when it came to choosing our new travel luggage. The options are endless! Keep in mind some countries do have restrictions just like regular Amazon and they usually charge for shipping.
  10. New vs. Used: I am all about bargain shopping and saving money when I can. I love yard sale pages and thrifts stores just as much as the next person, but the competition is rough! Everyone is looking for the same items and doesn’t want to spend top dollar on something they will only use for a few years, which I completely agree with. Sometimes (not always) it is just more simple, safe, and cost effective to buy it new rather than fight for a used item on the yard sale page. Plus, you can always find someone willing to buy it from you on the yard sale pages when you move.

The Cons of Using Amazon Italy

With the good comes the bad, so I will be honest!

The negative side of using Amazon Italy is that: A) You need to have a local Italian address, which can be problematic for those living in government owned (aka Villagio) unless you use a friend’s address on the economy and B) most delivery companies require a signature meaning you need to be home or else they will not drop off the package at your doorstep like in the states.

If they attempt to deliver the package and you are not home, they will put a notice of attempted delivery in your mail box and it usually states that they will try to deliver again the next business day or the note may require you to log in online and choose a day to have it delivered. If you still are not home the next day, they will most likely leave a note telling you to pick it up at the postal center and you can pick it up at your convenience.

Now that I’ve introduced and hopefully demystified this fantastic resource you can use while living overseas, this concludes my rant about Amazon Italy. Happy shopping!

Temporary Lodging

Ederle Inn

  • FIRST you MUST contact the hotel (Ederle Inn) on base to check for room availability.
  • Regular rooms are often booked up 6 weeks in advance, even earlier during peak PCS season.
  • Pet rooms are often booked up 3 months in advance
  • If the inn is booked up, your name will be put on a wait list. At that point you can reserve a hotel off base. The inn can send you a list of nearby hotels, their rates, and contact information.
    • Keep contacting the inn all the way up to the day of your arrival to check for any vacancies.
    • If there are still no vacancies at the inn when you arrive, you will need to get a certificate of non-availability from the inn to get reimbursed for TLA.
      • Note: the certificate of non-availability is obtained when you arrive on base (don’t worry about getting it on your first day, they will back date it to your first day of arrival) and then you will need to obtain another one after every 10 days you stay in temporary lodging off base.
  • Free Breakfast: muffins, cereal, breakfast bars, oatmeal
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Washers and dryers on site

Off Base Hotels

  • You must be denied lodging by the Ederle Inn before booking a hotel off base.
  • If booking a hotel off base you will need to give them your government travel card or credit card  information. You will want to reserve your hotel room for at least 30 days.
  • Keep in mind when choosing a hotel, that the soldier will need to be present for in-processing briefings every morning for 2 weeks. Plus, lower enlisted will have mandatory PT early in the morning in addition to their in-processing brief. Staying as close as possible to base is ideal.
  • Remember to obtain a certificate of non-availability from the inn to get reimbursed for TLA.

Hotel Mary

  • Hotel Mary is the next closest hotel located right outside of Chapel Gate. Since most people arrive without a vehicle, it is a very convenient choice.
  • Distance: 5 minute walk
  • Free breakfast: yogurt, fruit, pastries, bacon, eggs, and hot dogs.
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • 50 euro cleaning fee for pets (one time fee)
  • Near a public bus stop
  • No laundry services on site

Staying at the following hotels would most likely require renting a vehicle, renting a bike from Outdoor Recreation,  or walking 1.5-2 miles or more. Keep in mind there will be PT formations every morning of in-processing.

Hotel Aries

  • Hotel Aries is the next closest hotel located right next to the entrance for Villagio (government housing).
  • Distance: 5 min. drive (there is a walking route through Villlagio to base, but it is still 1.5 miles)
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Pets stay free
  • Restaurant in hotel

Hotel Victoria

  • Located a little further down from Hotel Aries and across a busy road next to the Palladio Mall.
  • Distance: 5 minute drive (walking is possible, but it would be 1.5 – 2 miles)
  • Free Breakfast 7am-10am: cakes, pastries, bread, cheeses, meats, fruit, yogurt and granola, cereal, coffee machines
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Pet Fee: 10 euro/day
  • Pizzeria Restaurant attached to the hotel.
  • Next to Palladio mall with groceries, food court, and shopping
  • Apartments include: bedroom, living room area, kitchenette (mini-refrigerator, stove top, dishes, silverware, pots).
  • No laundry services
  • Outdoor pool and hot tub (closes in September)
  • Near a public bus stop

Hotel Viest

  • 8 min. drive
    • Would absolutely need to rent a vehicle. Military shuttle bus stop located across the street at the Vehicle Processing Center, but it does not begin running until mid-morning.
  • Breakfast: Free
  • Pets: stay free


  • 15 min drive
  • Breakfast: Free
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Pets: stay free

Hotel Piramidi

  • 20 min. drive
  • Breakfast: free
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Pets stay free

What to Buy Before Leaving the States

Should I make any big purchases?

In Italy things are expensive, options are limited, and you won’t find places like Walmart with their “always low prices”. It will be much cheaper and easier to make your big purchases while you are still in the states.  Don’t get me wrong there are still options in Italy, but they won’t have the same brands or prices you are used to. Examples of things to buy:

  • Bedroom Furniture
  • Living Room Furniture
  • Gym Equipment
  • Television
  • Patio Furniture

Is there plenty of storage space?

Continue reading

Three Days in Paris

Planning your own trip to Paris? Check out our download boards for Paris Travel Tips, Attractions and Restaurants

Thanksgiving was the perfect time to visit Paris. It was the “off” season in Paris and a four day weekend for us. We flew with EasyJet from Venice Marco Polo to Paris Orly airport. Once we landed in the city of lights we took a taxi to our apartment rental located only a few blocks away from Notre Dame. 100_8601 Day 1

We spent our first day in Paris wandering around the city. In the morning we crossed the Seine  to behold the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. 100_7919 Then we continued on towards the Louvre to buy our Paris Museum Passes. We entered a courtyard surrounded by the wings of the Louvre museum. 100_7943 Next we stumbled upon the glass pyramid where we joined the line to get inside. IMG_20141127_110718_722 It took only a few minutes to get inside as opposed to the lengthy hours of waiting during tourist season. We located the tourism office and purchased our Museum Passes. We exited the Louvre via the underground shopping mall, the Carrousel du Louvre. 100_7966 After emerging from the underground mall we found ourselves at the beginning of the Jardin des Tuileries near the miniature Arc de Triomphe (du Carrousel). 100_7975 A food stand was conveniently located at the beginning of the garden. We ordered lunch and made our way to the middle of the garden for a little picnic. 100_7976 Afterwards we made our way to the end of the garden where we came upon Plaza de la Concorde with an ancient obelisk and flowing fountains. 100_8032 100_8030 We walked across the plaza to Champ Elysees, a high-end shopping avenue, which was hosting a Christmas market at the time. 100_8043 After getting our fill of street food and Christmas shopping, we marched on to reach the prominent Arc de Triomphe. 100_8059 We took an underground stairwell to bypass the giant traffic circle that runs around the arc. We bought tickets to climb to the top, which provided the best overall view of Paris! 100_8104 100_8088 Heading back on Champ Elysees, we stopped at Laduree to purchase some of their famous macarons. 100_8114 After walking the entire span of Paris, we decided to take a night stroll back to our apartment. 100_8129 100_8142 We found a cozy, candlelit restaurant in the Latin Quarter. We chose from a pre-fixe menu that included an appetizer (entrée), a main course (le plat principal), and a dessert. We loved every single dish from the French onion soup to the crème brulee!  We wished we could have had every meal at La Maison de Verlaine! IMG_20141127_213919_443

Day 2

On day two we decided to tackle the Louvre, but our first order of business was breakfast! We walked into a pâtisserie (bakery) near our apartment to order a slice of quiche and a caffé latte. 100_8152 We walked along the river until we reached the Pont de l’Archeveche. This bridge has become famous for romantic couples placing a lock on the bridge and throwing away the key. The weight of the locks is actually destroying parts of the bridge, causing the city to board it up and replace sections with thick glass panels.  The bridge was a sight to see, but we chose not to partake in the touristic ritual. 100_8160 At the entrance to the Louvre we passed the security line by flashing our museum passes and entering on the left. Following advice from other travelers, we went straight to the Mona Lisa before the tour groups started piling in. 100_8191 Checking that off our bucket list, we chose a few areas of interest and began our journey through the Louvre. For three plus hours we browsed Egyptian/Roman artifacts and studied French/Italian paintings. 100_8297 Next we took the metro to the outskirts of the city to visit the castle-shaped Sacre-Coeur. The view from Sacre Couer was nothing special and the neighborhood was pretty sketchy. If you are short on time, it could easily be skipped.100_8340 Determined to make up for lost time, we rushed back to the center of the city to see one last museum for the night. We arrived at the Rodin Museum, a sculpture museum with an indoor gallery and an outdoor sculpture garden. At dusk we could barely see the sculpture garden, but we enjoyed the small indoor gallery. 100_8353100_8376

To top off the night we walked to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at night. We watched a mini light show when the Eiffel Tower lights twinkled at the top of the hour 100_8391

Day 3

Waking up early, we decided to make our way to a gourmet grocery store called Bon Marche Grand Epicerie. The grocery store had everything from gourmet cooking ingredients and international foods to a wine cellar in the basement. We walked out of there with a bag full of groceries and a bottle of wine for our last night in Paris. 100_8651 On the way back we ran across Fontaine Saint-Michel, a beautiful fountain representing the triumph of good over evil. 100_8443 After dropping off our groceries we strolled over the river to Notre Dame. The sunny day was perfect for admiring the stained glass windows inside of the cathedral, including the beautiful “rose” window. 100_8478 Afterwards we went outside to the left of the church and stood in line to climb to the top of the Towers of Notre Dame. Our museum passes helped us bypass the wait for tickets once we reached the gift shop/ticket office level. The towers provided a close-up look at the gargoyles and great views of the city. IMG_20141129_131955_222 100_8522 Afterwards we visited the Archeological Crypt beneath the plaza of the Notre Dame, which contained Roman ruins. Moving on we entered Saint Chapelle, a church located on the same island as Notre Dame. This church had the most beautiful stained glass windows! 100_8550 Our next stop was the Eiffel Tower where we waited in line for tickets to take the lift to the first level for over an hour. We had intended to buy tickets to climb the stairs to the first level, but later realized our line was only for the lift. Once we made it to the first level we found out that whether you took the lift or climbed the stairs to the first level, you still had to get in line again to purchase another ticket to get to the very top. Not only that, but wait in another line to actually take the lift to the top. We took our pictures and decided to forego the hassle of a trip to the top. We opted for a more relaxing end to the night, by cruising the river via water taxi back to our apartment. 100_8572

Final Thoughts

Being able to visit some of the famous Paris attractions was a great opportunity, but Paris reminded me a lot of New York City. There were tons of people, long lines, cramped metro rides, pick pockets, and persistent souvenir sellers. The French (reserved as they are) were nice when we were walking around Paris, but when dinner time came we felt painfully awkward and out of place. Every French restaurant we liked seemed to be a “locals only” kind of place and if you didn’t have a reservation you were simply out of luck. Some people fall in love with Paris, but for us it was more of a been there, done that, got the refrigerator magnet sort of thing. Now that we know what to expect, maybe our next visit will be better. Until then, we have a whole list of other places to see! Au revoir!

Planning your own trip to Paris? Check out our download boards for Paris Travel Tips, Attractions and Restaurants

10 Travel Tips for Paris

  1. Always begin any encounter with a French person by saying “bonjour” or “bonsoir”
  2. Use a money belt and read up on ALL of the scams you will encounter in Paris before you go!
    • Ignore anyone asking if you speak English or trying to get your attention.
  3. Wear a good pair of walking shoes and neutral colored clothing.
    • Parisian love to wear black, gray… and more black and gray.
  4. Purchase the Paris Museum Pass
    • If you plan to visit a lot of the major attractions in Paris, the Paris Museum Pass is your best option.
    • Don’t buy a pass by some other name that gets mailed to you or includes transportation and other flashy bonuses. They are an overpriced collection of already existing passes that are easy to obtain in Paris.
  5. Avoid the crowds and long lines
    • Go to the main attractions and museums during the week.
    • Avoid the first Sunday of the month when most museums are free and extremely crowded.
    • Go first thing in the morning or late at night on days with extended hours
  6. Use an alternative entrance to the Louvre rather than the glass pyramid
    • The underground shopping mall (Carrousel de Louvre) is one of three alternative entrances
  7. Make a reservation in advance online for the Eiffel Tower or take the stairs to the first level.
    • For those taking the stairs, be sure to get in line to buy tickets at the leg of the Eiffel Tower that has stairs with people walking up them.
  8. Use the metro system
    • Buy a carnet of ten metro tickets at the metro station.
    • It allows you to ride the metro trains, RER speed trains, and buses.
  9. Find a good map of the city
    • Buy a map, download it to your phone, or find a tourist information center.
  10. Don’t stress about eating at the top rated restaurants in Paris.
    • Plan on one or two nice meals and wing it for the rest of your trip.
    • If you are staying at a hotel, have the front desk call to make a dinner reservation for you.

Where to Stay in Paris

  • Latin District (5th)
    • a popular area near Notre Dame for tourists and college students due to the bustling nightlife, souvenir shops, and restaurants.
  • Germain (6th arr.)
    • a popular location geared more towards the older crowd that isn’t looking for the college nightlife. There are plenty of cute cafes and shops tucked away in cobblestone alleys.
  • Marais District (3rd & 4th arr.)
    • Another popular location filled with art galleries, hip cafes, and gay nightlife
  • Eiffel Tower (7th arr.)
    • First time visitors might think that staying near the Eiffel Tower is ideal. While the Eiffel Tower is a beautiful sight, it certainly is not centrally located and  the streets near the Eiffel Tower are quite dark and deserted.

Getting Around Paris

  • Metro
    • The metro system is fairly easy to navigate if you can get a hold of a decent map
    • A carnet (car-nay) of 10 tickets costs around 13 euro (1,30 euro per ticket)
    • It includes the metro trains, RER (speed) trains, and buses
  • Bato Bus (water taxi)
    • An enclosed boat that loops around the Seine stopping at the major tourist sites
    • A bit pricey at 16 euros for one day, stopping service at 7pm
    • Very slow moving compared to the metro, not ideal when time is limited
    • Offers a cheaper alternative to booking a river cruise
    • The boat is enclosed making pictures difficult unless you go outside
  • Taxi
    • Taxi rates are set by the government.
    • Make sure you are taking a legitimate taxi with a running meter.
    • Calculate the estimated price of your destination before you go
    • A taxi ride to central Paris from CDG airport runs around 50 euro and from Orly airport around 35 euro

10 French Words to Know

  1. Yes = Oui (wee)
  2. No = Non (nohn)
  3. Thank you = Merci (mair-see)
  4. Please = S’il vous plait (see-voo-play)
  5. Hello/Good morning or afternoon = Bonjour (bon-zhour)
  6. Hello/Good evening = Bonsoir (bohn-swahr)
  7. Goodbye = Au revoir (oh-ruh-vwahr)
  8. Excuse me = Excusez moi (ex-kewzay mwah)
  9. Do you speak English? = Parlez vous anglais (Pahrlay voo ahn-glay)
  10. Bill/check = L’addition (Lad-eesi-on)

10 French Foods to Try

  1. Baguette
  2. Crème Brulee
  3. Crepes
  4. Croissant
  5. Escargot
  6. French Onion Soup
  7. Kir
  8. Macaron
  9. Pain au chocolat
  10. Quiche

10 Things To Do in Paris (next time)

  1. Musee D’Orsay
  2. Luxembourg Gardens
  3. Versailles
  4. The Catacombs
  5. Musee de l’Orangerie
  6. Pere-Lachaise Cemetery
  7. Dinner cruise on the Seine
  8. Create your own perfume
  9. Wine tasting
  10. Antique markets

Vet Clinic, Pet Passports, Boarding, Travel

Helpful Pages

Register Pets at the Army Vet Clinic

  • Pet registrations takes place at the Vicenza Veterinary Treatment Facility
  • In order to receive care at the military vet, your pet must be registered.
  • Registration can be done as a walk in, so no appointment is necessary.
  • Pets do not have to be present unless they require treatment treatment (vaccinations), in which case you would need to make an appointment.
  • Bring your veterinary health records.
  • At this time you can also start the pet passport process.

Find a Local Italian Veterinarian

  • The military clinic is primarily focused on military working dogs
  • Private owned animals are only seen on a space available basis.
  • Care is limited to wellness visits, vaccinations, minor illness/injuries, and a limited number of spays/neuters each month.
  • There is no emergency care for pets on post.
  • A list of local and emergency veterinary clinics is available at the Longare Vet Clinic
  • The most popular vet clinic for procedures and 24 hour emergency care is Sirio Veterinary Clinic

Pet Passport

  • Once in Italy, an Italian vet can issue an EU Pet Passport allowing travel within Europe and travel back to the United States.
  • The pet passport will be needed for flights (except your initial flight from the U.S.), hotel stays, boarding kennels, and border crossings within the EU. Note: Each county has its own requirements. Always check each country’s requirements before traveling with your pet.
  • The Pet Passport is valid for the duration of the pet’s life
  • Each passport is numbered for identification purposes and includes identifying information about the pet. This also helps in case your pet is ever lost in Europe.
  • The pet passport process does NOT need to be completed in 1 day. You can complete each step at your own pace. Hint: In order to get the pet passport done all in one day, the best day to go is on a Monday when the ULSS office has afternoon hours (in addition to their standard morning hours).

1. Register pet at the Longare Vet Clinic

  • Appointments are not necessary and pets do not need to be present unless vaccinations are needed.
  • Ensure all vaccines are up-to-date (if not, schedule an appointment). Bring in your pet’s medical record.
  • You will be given a form (bill for payment) for the post office, a copy of your rabies vaccination certificate, and the export document for ULSS.
    • If your pet is a mixed breed, note when filling out the export document at the veterinary clinic that the the ULSS office can only put one breed name or call it a “mix” on the passport. Ex. They can’t input “Labrador mix” or “Labrador Poodle”. It has to be labeled as either a Labrador, Poodle, or a mix. For identification purposes, choose whichever one seems best suited. Don’t worry if you write it wrong on the export document, just be prepared to pick one breed descriptor when creating the pet passport at ULSS.
  • The veterinary clinic will give you a map to the Italian post office near base (although you can use any Italian post office) and to the ULSS office.

2. Go to the Italian post office and pay the fee

  • You can go to ANY Italian post office to pay for the pet passport
    • I’d suggest going to your local post office (rather than downtown Vicenza, it is very busy!) or better yet the one in Longare on your way out of the vet clinic
  • At the post office you may need to take a number from an automated machine. Choose the one that resembles “financial services” (Servizio Financiale) since you will be paying a bill.
  • When you get the counter you will give them the payment form and they will run it through a scanner. Bring several forms of payment (cash, debit, credit) just to be on the safe side.
    • Cost: 12.50 euro per pet, plus service fee 1 or 2 euro
  • Once you have paid, make sure that you receive and hold onto the receipt. You are going to need it for the next step at ULSS.

3. Go to the ULSS office to receive the pet passport

  • You will most likely need to press the buzzer for ULSS to be let into the building
  • Bring the receipt from post office and all documents (rabies certificate/export doc) from the vet clinic.
  • They will input information from the export document into the pet passport, print it off and then have you look it over for accuracy.
  • Note: If your dog is a mixed breed, they can only put ONE breed or call it a “mix” on the passport.
  • You will receive the pet passport right then and there, but WAIT! There is one more important step!

4. Return the passport to the Longare Vet Clinic for signatures from the Veterinarian

  • This can be done as a walk in (no appointment necessary)
  • The vet will look over the passport and your pets medical chart, then sign the pet passport to validate it.
  • All done! Remember to bring in your pet’s passport each time you visit the veterinary clinic so that vaccinations and updates can be documented.


  • Muzzles: When your pet is out in public, you must have a muzzle on hand (attached to leash) at all times. If you are in a crowded area such as public transportation or a festival with close proximity to people your dog must wear a muzzle.
  • Leads/Leashes: Pets are required to be on a leash at all times in public. Although locals often do not follow this rule and get away with it, do not expect to be treated the same.
  • Vicenza public buses Allow small dogs (up to 10kg) to be held in your arms with a muzzle or carried inside of a carrier and dogs to guide the blind to ride for FREE. There is conflicting information as to whether larger dogs are allowed to ride the bus (the AIM bus website FAQ section says no, but  new Italian laws say otherwise). It may be up to the bus driver as to whether or not a larger dogs can ride the bus and may require paying an extra ticket. Please be courteous to people riding the bus by placing a muzzle on your dog even if they are harmless.
  • TrenItalia train system allows pets
    • Small dogs, cats, and other small pets (kept in an appropriate container no larger than 70x30x50 cm) are admitted free of charge in the first and second class of all categories of trains and service levels (Executive, Business, Premium and Standard). Only one container for each traveler. For dogs, you must be able to show the pet passport on board during the trip.
    • For a fee and with appropriate documentation, dogs of any size can be transported on certain trains and in certain areas of the train while kept on a leash and with a muzzle on. Only one dog per traveler. For the transportation of dogs you must show the pet passport at the time of ticket purchase for the animal and be able to show it on board during the trip.
      • Train inclusions and exclusions:
        • Expressed on trains, IC and ICN in both first and second class
        • On trains Frecciabianca, Frecciarossa and Frecciargento, in first and second class and levels of service and Business Standard.
        • Excludes service level Executive, Premium, the area of silence and sitting areas
        • On regional trains in the vestibule or platform of the last car, excluding time from 7 to 9 am on weekdays from Monday to Friday
        • In sleeping carriages, couchette cars and cars in Excelsior, compartments for purchased in full.
      • You must purchase, at the same time of the companion ticket (of any type), a second-class ticket at the price of the train you expect to use reduced by 50% at any ticket office or authorized travel agency (excluding web agencies), even for travel in first class and in the level of service business.
      • No animals allowed in the coaches can occupy passenger seats (must remain on the floor) and if they disturb other travelers the companion and animal may be required to occupy another place, or get off the train.
      • No animals allowed in the dining car/bar (except only for guide dogs for the blind)
    • Guide dogs for the blind can travel on all trains for free with no obligation.

Boarding Facilities

Dog Parks

  • Villagio Dog Park: located behind the grade school, walk past the soccer field and turn right. The park is off in the right hand corner. One fenced in area, two benches and a trash can. No pick up bags available or water fountains.
  • Parco di via Giuriato (Via Adolfo Giuriato 36100 Vicenza)

Cheese, Chocolate, and Culture!

Well we’ve been in Italy for almost 3 weeks now living out of our suitcases and adjusting to our  surroundings. Everything is new and exciting! There are so many beautiful sights and interesting food to try. Despite not having a vehicle yet we have been able to explore quite a bit with the help of our sponsor, his wife, and public transportation.

First off the food here is amazing and unlike anything you will find in the states. Restaurant dining is top notch and meals are leisurely served over several courses. The Italian grocery stores are phenomenal! Almost everything is fresh with very little convenience food to be found. I honestlyIMG_20141007_154153_542 mod have no idea what some things in the produce aisle are, but you can bet I will be cooking with them soon! They have freshly baked breads, wheels of cheese, gourmet deli meats, and homemade pasta. The yogurt aisle is my favorite with unique flavors like pistachio, hazelnut, and stracciatella. Some things in Italy are going to take some getting used to. The Italian version of coffee is very strong and bitter like espresso. Also going out to eat can require a bit of patience. Restaurants do not open for dinner until until around 7:30pm, because Italians tend to eat a late dinner. As I mentioned earlier, meals are prepared fresh and served over several courses meaning that dinner could last a couple hours or more. Continue reading