Before leaving Spain, we promised Lars he could have a new soccer ball (fútbol) to take on our Summer Road Trip. Well, as you may have guessed it wasn’t high priority prior to leaving and we didn’t get a chance to pick one up. Our new promise was to pick one up in Italy. Our second day in Rome we asked our campsite staff where we should go to purchase a fútbol. The provided us directions to a big mall just on the outer ring road around Rome. Not a problem as it was a straight shot to get there in our car.
Who Let The Dogs Out?
We arrive at this mall and it was indeed huge. IKEA, Decathlon (like REI or sporting goods), Grocery stores, department stores, you name it. We ran into Decathlon and found the perfect ball. Of course the aroma of food from the food court called the Wagoner family up to take a peek. Along the way, we noted that people were walking their dogs inside the mall.
I am thinking “What in the world are these people doing walking their dogs in the mall?”. We all had a good chuckle and started wondering more…”Where to the dogs go to the bathroom? How do people prevent them from going right on the floor, especially since they can’t even clean up on the curbs outside?” It seemed like it was all the trend to bring your dog to the mall. Anyway, we thought it was odd and returned back to our campsite and dug around to find some answers.
Dogs and Cats in Rome
Turns out Dogs are welcomed pretty much anywhere in Rome. You can find them in stores, malls, restaurants and sometimes there are even “dog parking spots”. Go figure. Oh and it doesn’t stop there. They apparently have a passion for cats as well. You see as of 2001 the cats are protected by law, even if they are stray (homeless). Rome’s city council stated “There is a deep-rooted affection for these cats who have an ancient bond with the city.” There are even women, Gattare, who care for the stray cats. Go figure!