Sand wine, Raw carpaccio, and Salt mines: The Medieval City of Aigues-Mortes

Aigues-Mortes is located in the beautiful Camargue. This unique Ramsar protected wetland is a delta that feeds into the Mediterranean sea. Driving down the highway there are ancient indigenous Camarguais horses tugging on dry grass to your right and not-so-pink flamingoes standing in a lagoon to your left.

Salt mines of Aigues-Mortes

Salt mines of Aigues-Mortes

Camargue horses

Camargue horses

Aigues-Mortes is a medieval walled city kept in nearly perfect condition. It is one of France’s hidden gems, and it does not have many foreign tourists. Its revenue comes primarily from French families on holiday. This is the ideal location to have a true French experience.

Tower of Constance

Tower of Constance

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The wine famous to the area is Gris de Gris (sand wine). It is a rose wine and, to date, my favorite French wine.

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This trip I paired carpaccio with my favorite sand wine. Carpaccio is traditionally made with thin slices of raw beef served with parmesan shavings covered with olive oil. I found the carpaccio and parmesan combination to be rather delicious and the olive oil certainly makes it go down easy.

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Aigues-Mortes is very pet friendly. Pets are seen throughout the cobblestone streets, and they are welcome inside most cafes, restaurants, and stores. Zala and I stayed at Hotel les Templiers. It is centrally located within the walls of Aigues-Mortes, and the beautiful stone building holds true to Aigues-Mortes medieval style. The owners are laid back and friendly, and they even have a resident bulldog that lounges around.

Street of Aigues-Mortes

Street of Aigues-Mortes

Make sure to take time to explore the fascinating niche of medieval shops. They supply the most authentic collections of medieval costumes I have ever seen.

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Travel Italy with Your Dog

 Italy may be the best place in the world to travel with your dog.

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Italians and Dogs

The French like dogs. Italians love dogs. I have gone to restaurants where Zala has been given packages of dog treats, cheesy pasta, ham, chocolates (without my consent), and pizza. Walking down the street I was always being stopped by Italians petting and loving on my dog. After one month in Italy, my dog believed her name was ‘Ciao Bella!’ (Hello Beautiful!).

On the Train

Trains accept dogs just as easily as France. I personally have only taken the train from Chambery, France to Milan, Italy. This ticket is a flat rate of 30Euros for your pet. I believe this holds true for all train travel in Italy. My passport was checked crossing the border, but Zala’s was not. Don’t forget your dog muzzle.

Bus

Take your dog on the bus and do so confidently. I did it in cities throughout Italy including Venice, Bologna, and Rome. People will appreciate you following the rules by putting a muzzle on your dog before you get on. I was thanked numerous times for doing this courtesy. Not everyone is comfortable with dogs, especially large ones.

Metro

I never took my dog on the Metro. I expect their dog restrictions are lax. Check online before you try.

Hotels

Many hotels do not post if they accept dogs and some only allow small dogs. E-mail or call anyways. Most hotels will accept large dogs even if their website does not say so. Most do not charge a fee either.

Restaurants and Shops

Unless it is a meat deli or grocery store, assume your dog can come inside. I got told off numerous occasions because I tied my dog outside and the owner or employee demanded I bring my dog inside because she ‘looks sad’. Please view my posts on specific Italian cities where I talk in detail of all the strange places that accepted my dog.

Churches, Museums, Ancient Buildings

No; except the ruins of Pompeii. Dogs are allowed there. See my post and photos on Pompeii.

Travel France with Your Dog

Traveling in France with you dog is accessible and fun.

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City Travel

Most cafes, stores, banks, and post offices allow dogs. Assume if there is no sign saying no dogs allowed, you and your furry friend can walk in. But it is always polite to ask first. Most cafes and restaurants will even serve your dog water before you. The French, as a whole, love dogs.

If a business does not allow pets, such as grocery stores and delis, there normally are hooks to tie your dog outside the store.

Metro and Bus

I personally have not traveled by bus or Metro in France. But I have in Italy, so be sure to check my post on the topic. Metros usually accept small dogs. I have seen individuals bring their large dog aboard with no issue. Most public transportation require your dog to be in a travel carrier or muzzled. It is the respectful thing to do, and those around you will be thankful you did. Show this small courtesy, and you will likely be greeted with smiles and winks.

Train

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This is the way to travel France and also Europe with a pet. TGV charges half the price of your ticket for your pet. You can buy your ticket online but not your dogs. Go to the station ticket counter and ask for a ticket for your furry friend. Your dog is required to be muzzled at all times. I’ve found this rule is rarely enforced. Your pet is also supposed to have a pet passport. In my one year of train travel not once was it checked.

Pet Passport

Although my dog’s passport was never checked, this is a requirement and a good thing to get for your pet upon arrival in Europe. Go to the vet and bring your international health certificate and rabies certificate with you. The process is painless and the passport is valid for the lifetime of your pet. In addition, the vet can give you paperwork to register you pet for that country.

Muzzles

You may have noticed I have mentioned muzzles several times. This is a very common requirement for pets allowed on public transportation. There are a lot of choices available, but I have found a simple mesh muzzle works best. They are cheap and can be purchased for under $10. You can slip it in your pant or coat pocket and easily slip it on and off your pet. Typically I put the muzzle on my dog when entering or leaving and take it off during the journey. Also, this kind of muzzle does not give your dog as intimidating of an appearance. This is important to me because I own a very striking Dutch Shepherd. A big metal cage muzzle makes her look like a killer.

Cautionary note: A tight mesh muzzle restricts panting. This is dangerous for a dog during high temperatures. Always put your dog’s health first.