The dog park at Villa Doria Pamphili

The Villa Doria Pamphili is the largest landscaped public park in Rome. It was acquired by the Pamphili family (which gave us Pope Innocent X) in the 17th Century and when the family line died out in the 18th century, it passed to Prince Giovanni Andrea IV Doria. The park has gardens, theatres, forests, fountains, streams and a lake. I spend hours there every day. It is fantastically wonderful. And the best thing about Villa Pamphili is the dog park.

Morgan and some friends at Villa Doria Pamphili (he's the little black and tan terrier).

A number of years ago, a group of concerned citizens/dog owners petitioned the City of Rome for some space in the Villa where dogs could run free (elsewhere they have to be on leashes although nobody pays much attention to that). The result was the dog park: an acre or so of hillside, conveniently located across the street from my house. At any given time, there are 10-20 dogs out there racing around, barking and generally causing mayhem while the owners calmly stand around discussing 1). their dogs 2). food 3). soccer. This is in stark contrast to non-dog owning Italians who spend their time discussing 1). food 2). soccer. Because we see each other everyday, we’ve developed into quite a little community (although oddly, we tend to address each other by our dog’s names rather than by our own, i.e. Mamma di Lula, Papa di Aldo).

When he’s not out playing, Morgan (my 9 month old Welsh Terrier) sits at the window looking at the dog park and whimpering when he sees his friends. Possibly you need to be a dog person to find this all as fun and adorable as I do. But hey, if you’re not a dog person, you’re probably on the wrong blog.

I wanna go out and play!


7 responses to “The dog park at Villa Doria Pamphili

  1. I think it is cruel in the extreme to allow Morgan to see the dog park when he cannot be there. Worse than having an aquarium and cats.

  2. andrew bosquet


    Would you mind telling me which street you live on? Any recommendations on the streets/area to look for housing that would allow us to walk to the dog park at Doria Pamphili every day? Would you have any other area recommendation to have access to dog parks in Rome? We are moving to Italy in a few months with our two dogs from DC. It looks like fenced dog parks are not common in Rome.

    • Dear Andrew
      I live on Via Vitellia in Monteverde and that is directly across the street from the dog park, which is not fenced. Villa Pamphili is the largest park in Rome and actually has three separate dog areas. There is a small fenced park a few blocks down at Largo Ravizza. Anything in Monteverde, especially around S. Giovanni di Dio, would bring you close to the park.
      Good luck with the move!

  3. Hi Ruth,
    I just moved to Monteverde with my dog and I am having trouble finding this fenced dog park. Is it in Pamphili or is it separate? If you could give directions that would be amazing.

    • Hi Lauren
      Welcome to the neighbourhood! Monteverde is the best. The fenced dog park is at Largo Ravizza on Circonvallazione Gianicolense. It is a couple of blocks down from the San Giovanni di Dio market. It’s small but I like to go there when I want to read outside since I don’t have to pay as much attention to the dog. There are three (to my knowledge) dog areas in the Villa. None of them are fenced.



  4. Suellen DeFrancis

    Hi, I just came across your blog as i surfed for a dog park for my two poodle/havanese three year old dogs. is it possible to walk there from Parioli?
    We go to The Borghese gardens, but there are so many BIG dogs off leash.
    My little dogs are SO friendly that it is a bit tension causing.Thanks, Suellen

    • Hi Suellen. My dog park is in Monteverde, probably about a 2.5 hour walk from Parioli. So that probably rules it out for you unless you want to come by car or bus. I’m afraid you are going to find big dogs everywhere — and small and medium ones too. Ruth

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