10 Wheelchair Travel Tips for Rome Italy
By John Sage
Wheelchair accessible travel in Rome is difficult due to the uneven ground covering the Roman ruins, the limited accessible public transportation, and the long distances between the tourist attractions. These 10 Rome Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips will help you to see more of Rome with less effort.
1. Use the Rome accessible bus tour to get around town – There are few accessible bus routes in Rome and wheelchair accessible taxis are expensive. For 25 euro per person per day, wheelchair accessible travel in Rome is possible by using one of the accessible bus tours to get between the tourist attractions. Be sure to stay at a hotel near one of their accessible bus stops.
2. Tour the Vatican – Visitors at the Vatican follow a one-way route through the Papal apartments to reach the Sistine chapel. Unfortunately, this route involves going up and down flights of stairs. Disabled Vatican visitors will need to follow a special route behind roped off areas to reach the Sistine Chapel. The route is unmarked, and the staff sometimes disagree on how many people can accompany you. The visit will go much smoother (and you’ll enjoy what you’re seeing more) if you have a tour guide with you. The group guided tour that the Vatican provides is not wheelchair accessible so you’ll need to use an outside tour company for your accessible Vatican tour.
3. An afternoon at the Vatican – The Vatican is more crowded in the morning. Plan your itinerary so that you visit it in the afternoon when you’ll have an easier time getting around and viewing the art.
4. The Capitoline Museum vs. the National Museum of Rome – The Capitoline museum has ancient Roman artifacts, Etruscan art, and spectacular views. The exhibits are housed in an ornately decorated palace with great views overlooking Rome. It’s also located in close proximity to the Roman Forum, Trajan’s Market, and other tourist attractions. The National Museum of Rome has ancient artifacts, and it’s located near the train station which is far away from most of the tourist sites. If you only want to visit one of the museums, pick the Capitoline Museum.
5. Start high and roll down – Hilly streets connect many of the tourist attractions in Rome. Have a taxi pick you up at your hotel in the morning and drop you off at one of the museums or churches located on a hill. You’ll spend the rest of your day with Rome wheelchair travel rolling downhill from accessible tourist attraction to accessible tourist attraction.
6. Taxi instead of train – In many European cities you can save money if you take the train from the airport to the city center instead of taking a taxi. In Rome this is not the case. The train costs 30 euro for two people, and a taxi costs 45 euro for two people. If you can transfer from your wheelchair into a normal taxi, the best option for Rome accessible travel from the airport to your hotel is by taxi.
7. Point A to point C to point B – In most European cities, you can look at a map and the best route from Point A to Point B is usually the most direct route. In Rome this is not the case and you make have to take a very long detour through point C. You may be walking or rolling along a sidewalk connecting two tourist attractions and all of a sudden you will run into a flight of stairs (example shown on right). Getting around the stairs can require a long uphill push several blocks out of the way making wheelchair travel in Rome difficult. Be sure before you leave to use Google Maps or Bing Maps to check that there are no steps on the routes between the tourist attractions you want to visit.
8. Main streets mean wider sidewalks – The best wheelchair accessible Rome travel routes usually involve avoiding cobblestones even if that means taking a slightly longer route. Stick to the main streets in the center of Rome and you’ll have paved sidewalks instead of cobblestones to navigate.
9. Church videoguides – Churches are usually significantly more enjoyable to visit if you have a guided tour. There are more than 900 churches in Rome and few provide guided tours. Fortunately, many of them have videoguides (shown in the picture on the right) that give a nice overview that is a few minutes long for a euro or two.
10. Evening walking tour – Walking tours are a great way to get an overview of the city, and I normally recommend taking one on the first or second day you are in a new city. However, some of theRome accessible walking tours involve going over some of the most severe cobblestones in Rome. These cobblestones are more uneven than the cobblestones found in places like Florence, Bruges, and Amsterdam. It is a good idea to plan on taking the walking tour in Rome city center towards the end of your trip so that you can confirm that you are okay rolling your wheelchair over them.
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Rome Accessible Travel – main page
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10 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for Rome Italy
10 Keys to Success for Rome Disabled Travel
Getting Around Rome with a Disability
Vatican Handicapped Access Review
Wheelchair Accessibility at the Colosseum
Handicapped Access at the Roman Forum
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Rome Accessible Travel Packages
Accessible Walking and Driving Tours in Rome
Wheelchair Accessible Vatican Tour
Ancient Rome Accessible Tour
Accessible Guided Tour in Rome City Center
Vatican Wheelchair Accessible Guided Tour – 5 Hours
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Roman Forum and Colosseum Accessible Tour
Accessible Guided Walking Tour in Rome – 5 Hours
Wheelchair Accessible Walking Tour – Rome in a Day
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Disabled Tour of the Capitoline Museums
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Rome at Night Handicapped Driving Tour
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