Getting Around Rome with a Disability
Getting around Rome with a Disability – Rome presents numerous challenges for disabled visitors trying to get around town. Cobblestones, hills, and few public transportation options make it one of the more difficult destinations in Europe for disabled travelers. Consequently, disabled visitors greatly benefit by learning how to get around Rome with a disability before they arrive.
The city centre in Rome is covered in cobblestones and has few curbs or sidewalks. Many of these cobblestones are uneven and can present challenges for manual wheelchair users. The front wheels on a manual wheelchair can catch on these cobblestones if the wheelchair user is moving too fast. Disabled visitors will need to move slowly if they are getting around Rome in a wheelchair.
In some areas, the cobblestones are very uneven and even broken.
Paraplegics in manual wheelchairs may want to use a wheelie to go over some of the rough areas in Rome:
The pictures below were taken on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II street. There are small curbs like the one shown on the left at some of the streets and driveways. The picture on the right is shows where the street runs so close to the Gesu church that a wheelchair user could not fit on the sidewalk and would have to travel on the other side of the street.
Video description of sidewalk accessibility in Rome:
The two pictures below were taken further to west near the Trevi Fountain. The one on the left shows a crosswalk with curb cuts which are fairly common in this area. The one on the right shows a wheelchair ramp that can not be used because a delivery truck is blocking the ramp.
Many of the shops in the city centre have a step to get into them like the one shown on the left.
In some places a sidewalk can turn into a flight of stairs such as the ones shown below. The accessible routes we have provide in our Rome Accessibility Guide avoids all of these steps.
Getting around Rome with a Disability by Bus
Some of Rome’s busses are accessible, and unfortunately they only run on a few routes. Also unfortunately, the accessible busses can’t be determined by color. Much of Rome’s city centre has very narrow streets that busses are not able to drive on. Consequently, tourists in Rome have to do more walking than in other major European cities such as Paris, London, Dublin, Berlin, Brussels, and Athens.
Both of the busses below are accessible. They have low floors with ramps that extend to the curb for wheelchair users to get on.
The bus shown in the pictures below looks like the red one above but it doesn’t have a ramp and there is a pole in the middle of the door that makes it too narrow for wheelchairs.
The accessible busses have a ramp that the driver can extend to reach the curb. Get the driver’s attention as the bus approaches or press the blue button shown in the image on the right. When you want to get off the bus, press the button in the space next to the wheelchair spot. The wheelchair spot has instructions shown in the picture on the right.
The picture below shows a car parked in the area where busses are supposed to be able to pull up to the curb. It is common that the busses stop in the street far from the curb.
These signs are found and the bus stop locations. They indicate which lines are wheelchair accessible and they list the stops along each of the routes.
Getting around Rome with a Disability by Electric Bus
A small electric bus runs from Piazza del Popolo down Via del Corso to Piazza Venezia. It doesn’t pull up next to a curb so the ramp is very steep.
Rome Tram Accessibility
Trams run through a few parts of Rome and have steps to get in and out of them. The tram lines do not run through the center of Rome so they are not very useful for tourists. These pictures were taken just south of Termini station.
Getting around Rome by Metro with a Disability
Metro A – Only Valle Aurelia and Cipro Musei Vaticani stations provide disabled access. Consequently, Metro A is not useful for disabled tourists in Rome.
Metro B – All stations have disabled access except Circo Massimo, Colosseo, and Cavour. The most useful route would be to connect Termini with Colosseo. Because Colosseo is not wheelchair accessible, Metro B is not helpful for disabled tourist in Rome.
Traveling by Rome Taxi with a Disability
Some of the taxis in Rome are the station wagon type shown in the 2 pictures below. Other taxis are the 4 door type shown in the picture at the bottom. Tourists traveling between tourist attractions will typically pay between 10 and 20 euro.