Italy on Crutches

Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 05:14 AM
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Italy on Crutches

My husband broke his leg at the end of July and our trip to Italy for three weeks in October went as planned but he had to wear a brace and use two crutches-he was able to put some weight (50%) on his left leg. We left on October 15th and American Airlines provided bulk head seats both ways. (I called ahead and asked.) We flew Chicago to Naples and took the airport bus to Sant'Agnello (Currerei Bus).

Six days in Sant'Agnello (near Sorrento) at Hotel Angelina (nice hotel with a terrace and a large breakfast room where we could eat take-out). The breakfast was very good-fruit, bread and sweets. DH was slow moving but he managed very well and he was ALWAYS offered a seat on crowded buses. We took the Circumveseviana to Pompeii, buses to Amalfi and Ravello , a boat to Positano and Capri, and had a driver (Seahorse Car Service-300 Euro for six people about eight hours) take us to Paestum, Vietri Sul; Mare (ceramics), and a buffalo mozzarella farm. It rained the day we went to Pompeii and the weather was horrible in Ravello-cold, windy, rain. The other days were perfect. The same company took us to the Naples train station -95 Euro for six). I have to say the Naples train station was quiet. I have been there when it was chaos-it is also under construction.

We took the Eurostar to Florence for eight days and walked to hotel IL Bargellino-I had to handle two suitcases but it was fine-just another challenge. The hotel is on a quiet street and has a wonderful terrace with a canopy-the owners are very helpful. There is no breakfast but Bar Fibi is close by and has BACON and EGGS-a rarity in Italy. DH walked a lot in Florence but we took buses to Fiesole and Piazza Michaelangelo. We took day trips to Bologna and the Cinque Terre. We did hike from Riomaggiore to Vernazza and DH was a trooper but we made an error and when we left Vernazza: we took the path to Corniglia-three hours of uphill, jagged rocks, narrow paths-let's say treacherous! Thankfully, we all survived and got back to Florence at 11:00! One advantage of staying near the train station is there are restaurants open late so we were able to eat. The Walkaboutpass bus tour of Tuscany (Siena, San Gimingnano, lunch at a farm, and Pisa) was an excellent tour and way to at least see some of Tuscany.

One more train ride to Rome on the Eurostar-the trains were not bad for my husband-it just took him longer to board and I had help from our friends with the suitcases ( 22 and 24 inch). We bought weekly bus passes at Termini (opposite the bus stands-booth next to the Metro sign), DH and one couple took all the luggage in a small mini-van type cab and three of us took Bus 64 to the convent Santa Giuliana Falconieri near Piazza Navona. The convent is lovely but only has four rooms ensuite ( I think there are 34 rooms total). The hall baths are spotless, plentiful, and huge so it was not a problem. Breakfast is coffee and bread but we usually bought fruit to have with the coffee. We have stayed here before so I knew the elevator would be handy for DH. We took the buses often in Rome (bus tip-the bus 64 stop for St.Peter's is Lgo. Stassi). We took a day trip to Assisi-very hilly and it was cold and rainy but again DH was a champ. We were able to get reservations for the Scavi which has a very narrow staircase but once again DH made the descent without a problem. Ostia Antica was fairly crowded-we had a picnic lunch in the open air theater The weather was mostly sunny, cool at night, and we had some rain.

We had a 6:30 AM flight out of Rome and the convent arranged a ride-we left at 4:30. Nothing was open at FCO but we managed to get coffee just before boarding. If you fly American from Brussels, be sure to check in at the gate-they ask a lot of questions and it takes time to get your boarding pass.

I loved Italy in the cooler weather-as a retired teacher, we had always gone in June and I am not fond of the very warm weather. This was good but I think next time we will try late spring. Of course Italy is fine anytime!

DH is now crutch and brace free but still has to go to Physical Therapy but if you are willing you can see Italy on crutches.
Lindateach is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 05:32 AM
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I can't imagine doing Italy on crutches! I have just shed a walking cast for a fractured fibulas and that was bad enough! My hat is off to him--and to you for doing the bag toting! (I can't imagine Vernazza to Corniglia on crutches; I thought it was work--pleasant, but work-- on two good feet.)

I can recommend Italy in spring. The first year I retired from teaching I took my first trip to Italy. I had always wanted to go but never wanted to deal with the heat. I went the first two weeks of April and the weather was perfect for me. I had a couple of rainy days, but I can deal with that. I had twelve days of sun and temps in the 60's--great for hiking and tromping around cities. (Cinque Terre, Venice, Castelrotto in the Dolomites.)

Thanks for sharing your trip with us!
irishface is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 05:57 AM
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I think in this case it would be better to choose a car hire, you shouldn't worry about suitcases, boarding the trains etc. I usually book with Decode car hire and am satisfied. You can find them also in Rome FiumincinoAirport:
I'm happy to hear you enjoyed Italy despite the fact your husband was on crutches. Italy is my favourite country and I absolutely agree with you that it is enjoyable not only in summer, but also in colder weather.
Hope your husband is well now!
IdaBacon is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 06:51 AM
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My armpits ache just reading this.
NanBug is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 04:13 PM
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LindaTeach and your DH:

All I can say is Bravo!

tower is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 04:22 PM
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Wow -- it sounds like you had a good trip in spite of the circumstances! I was recently on crutches, and I can't imagine your husband being to do all that he did. He sounds like a wonderful, easygoing guy to try all of those things on crutches. Glad you had a good trip.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 06:09 PM
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Thanks for the replies-DH is a determined person. The funny part is we are of the generation who were not adult athletes, did not exercise until our thirties and forties and DH especially came to mountain biking (that's how the leg got broken)in his forties. It's never too late to try your skills at a sport or activity.
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