Tuscany in Italy is about to become a dog-owners' paradise, with a new law allowing pets into art galleries, theatres, restaurants, cinemas, post offices, museums and beaches.
The law, which is due to come into force by June and reverses a longstanding ban, was drawn up by the Greens on the centre-left Tuscan regional council.
Fabio Roggiolani, a leader of the Greens and head of the regional health commission, said: “We are knocking down the barriers that separate Man from his best friends.
“Most people in Tuscany agree with this measure, which is in line with regional regulations forbidding discrimination or cruelty against domestic animals.”
To protect public health and hygiene, pets will have to have a veterinary health certificate, and dogs must be muzzled if necessary. Owners will have to guarantee that their pets will not disturb public order.
Mr Roggiolani said that “for obvious reasons” dogs and other pets would still be banned from the Teatro del Maggio Musicale, the Florence opera house. “We have to apply a bit of common sense.”