A couple of lovely Florentines

I’d like you to meet Graziano, a homeless fellow, and his beautiful dog Pauli. When I pet Pauli, my fingers sink about 3cm into her soft fur.


Almost every day, rain or shine, this pair sits quietly on (or near, in the case of Pauli) some steps on this side of the Ponte Vecchio. When it does rain, Graziano puts an umbrella over Pauli, as well as holding one for himself. Passers-by toss the odd coin into a basket at Graziano’s feet.

Pauli is a well behaved dog, but she tries very hard to get that darn muzzle off if she thinks Graziano isn’t looking.


I don’t know Graziano’s story. He’s originally from Livorno, and sleeps at a local hostel for the homeless. There’s such obvious love between these two.

I wish someone would take up his story, as was the case in A Street Cat named Bob.



Filed under Florence

26 responses to “A couple of lovely Florentines

  1. Ask him his story! I’d love to hear it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Caroline

    There was a case here in Venice recently where a man was reported for begging with 2 cats on leads. The police investigated and temporarily removed the cats for their protection: the concern seemed just to have been whether the cats were being mistreated, it not being normal for them to be tethered. I believe they were returned to their owner but I don’t know what has happened to him since. Apparently there is a city law against begging with animals. The man was reported to be French and I wondered what his story was.


    • Have you read A Street Cat Named Bob? That is set in London, maybe the laws are different there. The fellow ( a street busker) kept Bob on a lead, so he wouldn’t dart into traffic.


      • Caroline

        I haven’t, no. Yes, this is a Venice city law. Practically all beggars in Britain seemed to have dogs, but I never saw a cat myself. Maybe a ferret once?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Aww what a big lovely pup. I like the way he is trying to get the muzzle off.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe you should take up the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been trying to think of what I could do, suchled. If only Tom Hanks read my blog, maybe he’d make a movie of the story! 🙂


      • Don’t be pathetic. You are either a Canadian or an Aussie or an Italian or a Queenslander. All three are gutsy. Stop wimping out. Go and sit down with the man and his dog. (Maybe take an interpreter. Just sit down with a half bottle of chianti and talk to him. I’ll be he has a relative lives in Lygon Street Melbourne. Get him up on your blog. He might be an important part of our life.
        To repeat, don’t wimp out babe.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pauli looks gorgeous and obviously well loved. Can’t blame her about the muzzle, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A great pair of friends. I wonder where he gets the food from for both himself and his dog?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think (but don’t know) that he uses the money he collects each day for that. Perhaps the hostel where he stays might supply a meal as well. It’s so frustrating, my Italian is not good enough to really talk to Graziano.

      I’ll bet Pauli is number one on the list when it comes to food supplies.


  7. Janet Graham

    What a gorgeous dog, you know how soft I am where they are concerned

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Susie L

    Oh, I hope they are both alright, and that they can get the services they need. What a sweet face Pauli has! Ralph and Michelle are right, it doesn’t take much misfortune to cause someone to become homeless.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Do you know if they let him keep Pauli with him in the hostel? Here in the Seattle area they are not allowed to have pets with them so you will see many of them sleeping in doorways downtown with both dogs and cats.
    And Ralph is correct….it wouldn’t take much for any one of us to be homeless….it is seldom a choice.
    Since I used to work in the Welfare office I met many very nice people who gave their address as “UTB”…..under the bridge. Since the post office wouldn’t deliver mail there we were lucky to have an agency where they could get mail as we were famous for closing benefits for “loss of contact”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree, Michelle, there but the grace of something, go we.

      I’ll see if my Italian is good enough to find out about where Pauli sleeps. I can’t imagine Graziano being separated from her.


      • Italy is more accepting of animals in many circumstances than our germ phobic society here so it may be possible that she goes with them.
        Here for an animal to be allowed on public transportation they must be a “certified service animal”….of course in this circumstance I’m sure Pauli is indeed performing a service.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m going to miss them when I leave. I take dog food and treats for Pauli most days. Maybe I can get the folks at the local bar to do that for me, if I leave a stock of dog food.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I always try to be kind to a genuine homeless person as it doesn’t take much for any of us to be homeless. Nice post Yvonne 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I wonder why he uses a muzzle? I hate seeing them on dogs.


    • He has to, because his very big dog is in public. Can you imagine if someone teased Pauli, and was bitten? It’s the same on the water buses in Venice, dogs must wear a muzzle. Don’t worry, Pauli is so loved, and I think the feeling is mutual.


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