Travel Italy by Train: A Disabled-Friendly Itinerary
If you believe that because you are disabled, holidays to the ancient city of Rome or the bridge-strewn Venice aren’t for you, it’s time to think again.
If you’ve dreamed of seeing the ancient wonders of Rome, the galleries of Florence or the canals of Venice but have been told they are not appropriate destinations for ‘disabled holidays’, then our train tour of Italy’s cultural cities is just what you need.
Recent clients, for whom I put together an itinerary for a tour of the three cities by train, reported back that the fully accessible Italian train network made the journey wonderfully relaxing as they could sit comfortably and look at beautiful landscapes between cities.
And our clients didn’t have to worry about the famous cobble stones of Rome or negotiate the many stepped bridges in Venice either, as my team had scouted out fully accessible routes through each of the cities, enabling them to take in all the main sights.
If this sounds like your kind of holiday, check out our seven-day itinerary for a tour of Italy’s most famous cities.
Three Days in Rome
Okay, there are a lot of cobblestones in Rome (which can make it pretty hard going if you or your travelling companion have mobility issues), but don’t let this put you off seeing the wonders of this ancient city. At Can Be Done, our team has created a fully accessible tour of Rome which takes in all the sights including the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican and the Coliseum.
While travelling in Rome with mobility issues may be challenging with limited accessible transport and cobble stone streets, sights including the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum and the Coliseum are doing their best to make life easier by introducing lifts. On top of this, we recommend to our clients a good range of hotels and restaurants which are centrally located and all have excellent wheelchair access.
Two Days in Florence
After the challenge of Rome, the flat smooth paving stones of Florence’s centre will be a joy to explore.
All the most famous Renaissance architecture in the city, including the cathedral and Giotto’s Campanile, are located in a relatively small area in the city’s centre, which is great news for those who find walking for too long an issue.
Best of all, the two major art galleries in the city – the Uffizi and the Accademia – which contain works including Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, offer free entrance to disabled visitors and are wheelchair-friendly.
Two Days in Venice
Though Venice’s famous bridges with their steep angles have been enough to put off many visitors who have mobility issues or are disabled, holidays to the city do not need to be ruined by these daunting architectural structures whatsoever.
At Can Be Done we’ve scoured the city for routes that are more appropriate for wheelchair users, or those with mobility problems, and discovered that more than 50 per cent of the city is accessible.
As a result, our special accessible tour has proved very popular with our clients. The tour takes in all the main sights of the city – from St Mark’s Square to the Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Grand Cana – but does not include a single cobblestones or bridge.
Once you’ve spent one of your days in the city exploring these historic, accessible sights, then you could spend your second day taking in the sights of the city from the comfort of one of the many waterbuses which offer wheelchair access. Or for a really special treat, how about taking a ride in your own private accessible gondola?
So next time someone tries to tell you what they think is appropriate for ‘disabled holidays’, tell them to get in touch with my team at Can Be Done – they’ll be surprised by the range of exciting travel options on offer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Philip Scott is the owner and founder of Can be Done, a fully licensed UK tour operator specialising in disabled holidays across the world for individuals and groups who are travelling with a handicap. With over 31 years’ experience organising long and short breaks for disabled travellers, Philip has built a reputation for helping his clients select hotels and accommodation that offer high standards of accessibility to ensure that those with special needs can experience truly relaxing and carefree holidays.