Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lampo, the traveling dog

During our chat in Florence, our friend Beata told us of a book that is very popular with kids in Poland: the story of Lampo, the traveling dog. I didn't know the story, but when later I asked my son he said that he was well aware of it. He also remember that my father told him about having met the dog himself.
Lampo, il cane viaggiatore - Lampo, the traveling dog, book covers
In the early 1950s a dog jumped off a freight train at the station of Campiglia Marittima and was practically adopted by the assistant stationmaster Elvio Barlettani, who called him Lampo (Lightning). Before making Campiglia his home, Lampo had stayed for a while in the station of Livorno, but when a less benevolent stationmaster called the dogcatcher, a railway worker flung him into a freight car heading south.
From Campiglia, a busy railway junction, Lampo was able to catch a train to anywhere. He rode only passenger trains, hiding under a seat when he heard the conductor coming. They say that Lampo visited almost every station within 300 kilometers of Campiglia, becoming a well-known presence.
Lampo, il cane viaggiatore - Lampo, the traveling dog
Lampo slept in the station, but in the morning he would jump on the local train to Piombino to walk Mirna Barlettani to school, only to take the train back to Campiglia. In the afternoon, Lampo rode the train back to Piombino and saw Mirna home from school. Then he returned to Campiglia.
One day the dog got caught in a door and the train had to be stopped to release him. This event was witnessed by an inspector and it was ordered that the dog must go: they decided to put Lampo on a freight train to the far south, with instructions to let him go in open country, far from any station. After five months, ill and beaten, Lampo was back. He became famous and ended up on national and international newspapers. He was also filmed by a few TV crews.
Statue of Lampo, the travelling dog, Campiglia Marittima railway station
[Photo by LepoRello, Wikipedia]
A train passenger, who claimed to recognize the dog, said that Lampo had been accidentally stranded in the port of Livorno from an American ship. It seems that the dog was really fascinated by the sea.
Lampo, quite old, was eventually killed by a train in 1961, but a statue still remembers him at the station of Campiglia Marittima, where he spent so many years.
Le chien qui prenait le train, Lampo chien voyageur - Lampo, the traveling dog, book covers
Elvio Barlettani wrote a book about his story: “Lampo, il cane viaggiatore” and it was also published in English as “Lampo, the Traveling Dog”.

External links: Dog on a train - La Dolce Vita di Lampo (The Nature of the Beast)
- Lampo, the travelling dog (Cover, Look and Learn)

16 comments:

Carmine Volpe said...

sai raccontarci delle belle foto ogni giorno

Revrunner said...

Great story. Thanks for sharing it, VP.

Lois said...

Such an interesting story! The statue is wonderful.

Jack said...

This is a fascinating story, VP. I feel badly for the difficult life the poor dog lived.

William Kendall said...

It's a fine and distinguished statue, VP. I think at some point I've heard the story, because it sounds quite familiar.

Randy said...

Looks like a good book.

Ako said...

Ho letto questo libro da piccolo, mi commosse così tanto che ancora oggi me lo ricordo.

Luis Gomez said...

What a beautiful and great story. Love it VP. Thank you.

Virginia said...

I love the story, except for the ending! Poor Lampo.
V

cieldequimper said...

I need that book!

Buona Pasqua!

Gunn said...

What a life Lampo had!
Thanks for sharing.

Dina said...

Lampo sounds like a dog after my own heart, loving ships, trains, freedom and free travel.

Lois Evensen said...

What a fascinating life he had, but not an easy one. It seems he was always searching....

Arianna said...

E' un ricordo d'infanzia...ciao, Arianna

Fio said...

:) :) :)

Stefan Jansson said...

Fantastic story.