Thursday, March 20, 2008

Going to the Dogs

A proposed law, submitted to the Tuscan regional parliament, would allow pet owners in Tuscany to take their cats, dogs and other animals to any sort of public place - including museums, cinemas and theatres. If approved, it would open up new possibilities for millions of tourists who visit the museums of Florence and Siena each year, as well as Tuscany's famed countryside, which includes the Chianti area. The bill's sponsor, Fabio Roggiolani, predicts the bill would be law by this summer. "The majority [of regional lawmakers] are in agreement", he told the newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

Some well-known Italian animal lovers expressed misgivings at the prospect of people watching Pirandello or Puccini with their poodle. Cristina Acidini, the government official responsible for the museums in Florence said: "I adore animals. But I don't think a museum is the best place [for them]." And the film, theatre and opera director, Franco Zeffirelli, whose Rome villa is packed with dogs, said: "I'd never take them to La Scala."

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