9 Wheelchair Travel Tips for Milan Italy
By John Sage
Milan is an incredible city – also for disabled visitors! The city center is for the most part flat and easy to navigate, however, the challenging part is figuring out how to avoid the cobblestoned areas, use the public transportation, identify where the ramps are located and how to secure disabled access to places such as the roof top at the Cathedral.
With a few tips and tricks, experiencing the very best of Milan is possible. These 9 Milan Wheelchair Travel Tips will get you started in making the most of your time visiting Milan.
1) Stay within walking distance of Duomo Square – The historic city center is fairly compact. If you stay in this area you can also easily see the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Brera district. If you stay further out, you won’t be able to use the trams because they’re not accessible. The metro has some accessible stations but you never know when an elevator will be out of order.
2) Book the Last Supper far in advance – Visitors to the Da Vinci’s Last Supper need to book weeks or months before your trip. It has a wheelchair ramp to enter!
3) Be careful on all the tram tracks – Central Milan has many tram tracks. In many of the crosswalks (like the one shown below) the tram tracks split into two so instead of 4 tram tracks there are 8 tram tracks. Wheelchair users should take care when crossing the tram tracks.
4) Get permission to use the elevator to get to the roof of the cathedral –There is an elevator to get t to the top of the Milan Cathedral, but getting permission to avoid the stairs leading to it is not straightforward. Our tour guide knew who to speak with and he spoke Italian so we could use the step-free route.If you don’t have a tour guide, you’ll need to figure this out.
4) Use accessible transportation from the train station – Neither the Milano Porta Garibaldi train station nor the Milano Centrale station are a walking/rolling distance to the city center.Taking an accessible metro to your hotel might be possible depending on where you are staying, but most disabled visitors to Milan will want to use private accessible transportation to get to their accessible Milan hotel.
5) Decide how you want to get to the Last Supper and Sforza Castle – The Last Supper is 1.8 km (1.1 miles) away from the Duomo, and the Sforza Castle is 1.1 km (0.7 miles) away from Duomo. If you don’t want to walk/roll those distances, you should figure out accessible public transportation options or book an accessible Milan guided tour with private transportation.
6) Beware metro accessibility – Some stations might be marked as accessible, but there is only an elevator to reach the train going in one direction and not the other direction. Also, wheelchair lifts and elevators can break with slow response times to fix them (a photo I took in the Milano Duomo metro station is shown below).
7) Eat at the restaurants on the east side of the Duomo– The restaurants inside the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II have great scenery but higher prices. If you’re looking to save a few euro, eat at the restaurants behind the Duomo. They’re cheaper and less touristy.
8) Prepare for long distances at Parco Sempione – Behind the Sforza Castle you’ll find the large and impressive Sempione Park. It’s quite large, so a visit will involve a good bit of walking/rolling.
9) Combine your Milan visit with other cities – Milan is a great city, but there are so many other great cities to visit that are just a quick drive or train ride away. Combine your Milan accessible travel with a visit to cities like Venice, Verona, Florence, Interlaken, or Cinque Terre.
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