vatican tour

Old Jul 9th, 2018, 07:19 PM
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vatican tour

aloha--my wife and I are heading to Italy for around 8 day--first to Rome then Florence and finally Venice--while in Rome, we want to take a tour of the Vatican --would like to get express tickets and guided tour but in addition, I am disabled need a cane to get around--but if a lot of walking is involved--a wheelchair would save me a lot of agony --would appreciate any kokua as to help, advice, or suggestions -mahalo
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Old Jul 10th, 2018, 04:21 PM
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Hello, when is your trip?
Have you made any reservations yet? If not, you might be happier going in a shoulder season, or at least not prime-time. If you have made flight reservations, please be careful when booking your lodgings. In Europe, the "first floor" is equivalent to the second floor in the USA. They consider the ground floor to be zero level.

One thing I love about Italy is the meandering around finding a place. But if I had a walking issue, that wouldn't be quite so enjoyable. You might want to type "disabled tours Rome" and "disabled tours Florence" etc. into the Google Search Bar.... You will get a lot of choices of guided tours. I really think you will be happier if at least some days, you do these day trips. Many of them will have custom buses etc, and it will help you save your energy for when you need it most.

As to the specific venue, the Vatican Museums, you can pre-buy your tickets and visit with or without a guide. My recollection was that it was fairly flat floors. But yes, it IS a lot of walking. A guide could help you see the highlights and knows where to stop and rest.
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Old Jul 10th, 2018, 07:53 PM
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The Vatican Museums offer free entry to all disabled visitors with certified invalidity of more than 74%. For visitors who are not self-sufficient, free entry is also extended to a companion.
This type of visit cannot be booked online: the free entry tickets are issued upon presentation of a certificate of invalidity at the Special Permits and/or Reception desks in the hall of the Museums.
Disabled visitors and, if appropriate, a companion, are guaranteed priority skip the line entry (without the need to queue).

For visitors with mobility problems, the Vatican Museums offer free wheelchair hire from the cloakroom (subject to availability).
To hire a wheelchair, it is necessary to present a valid identity document and deposit.

The Museums are accessible also to visitors on mobility scooters and with electric wheelchairs. However, due to space limitations, access or use are not permitted in some museum areas.
In this case, the visitor will be invited to transfer to a traditional wheelchair, which may be hired free of charge in the entrance hall.

Toilets specially equipped for the disabled are located along the itinerary and at all dining and refreshments points. To rapidly view the locations of washrooms, visitors are advised to consult the Vatican Museums Map.

Most of the museum spaces are accessible to people with motor disabilities.
To facilitate the visit, the Vatican Museums advise an visit itinerary without barriers which, thanks to assistance from the Guard Corps, will enable visitors to easily reach the main services and places of interest.

On account of their standardised itineraries, guided tours proposed and organised by the Vatican Museums are not open to visitors in wheelchairs. The sole exception at present is the tour "Vatican Gardens without barriers", which proposes a guided tour along an ad hoc route accessible also to visitors with mobility difficulties or in wheelchairs.
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Old Jul 10th, 2018, 08:11 PM
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aloha --mahalo for your reply --so far the only confirmed items are our flights--we will be in Rome nov. 1-nov. 3, Florence nov.4-nov.5, and Venice nov.6-nov.8--my wife is currently looking through air b&b--born and raised in Hawaii--my first experience being a tourist--mahalo no kokua--will research your suggestions-and for any additional kokua you can provide--mahalo
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Old Jul 10th, 2018, 08:28 PM
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aloha --first mahalo for your kind reply--I currently have both a "hand-van card" as well as documentation allowing me disabled parking placard for my car issued by state of Hawaii --I am sure that I can get doctor's note on the 75% disability --but is there a special "certified invalidity" form required??--and if so--where can I get it--also my wife wants to go to this famous museum in Florence--wondering if they have the same deal--and if so, can one document serve both museums, since both in Italy?? we will be in Rome nov. 1-nov.3, Florence nov. 4-5, and Venice nov.5-8, we are locked in on flights--but nothing else--wife looking through air b&b now--would appreciate any other advice or suggestions you might have--mahalo no kokua--a hui hou kakou
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Old Jul 11th, 2018, 09:49 AM
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If you are in a wheelchair, they probably will let you pass, but they do not list any specific document you must have (probably intentionally, they couldn't list every document in the world, as they wouldn't even know them). If you are a letter signed by your physician that you are 75% or more disabled, that's the best you can do, I think, as well as your other things. I guess they don't want to go to the trouble of having a document online that you can print and get your physician to sign (of course, anyone could forge that). So I think you'd better have something other than a letter.
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Old Jul 11th, 2018, 02:51 PM
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Here is the link for the state museums of Florence including the Uffizi which appears to have the same rules as the Vatican, i.e. if you can show you have 75% disability or more, you and your companion have free entry:

https://www.uffizi.it/en/pages/free-and-reduced-tickets

Again there is no particular form specified, so one would think that a GP letter should work.
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Old Jul 11th, 2018, 04:03 PM
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Here are some additional tips on Vatican accessibility including the ability to be part of a Papal audience.

https://www.vaticancityguide.org/tip...-disabilities/
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 02:21 AM
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aloha annhig--mahalo for your reply--pretty sure that museum is the one we are going to in Florence--so will check out that site for sure--will have a letter, but also a Hawaii state issued "handyvan pass w/photo", plus my disability pretty obvious--so hoping no problems--would appreciate any other advice or kokua you might have on traveling through Italy --wife and I are doing this on our own--which I think is the best way to visit Hawaii
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 02:25 AM
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aloha Whitehall --appreciate your kokua--will start checking out these sites--wish I was a little more akamai about computers--but so far no problems--at least I have some time to get a handle on this--again mahalo and a hui hou kakou
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Old Jul 12th, 2018, 06:53 AM
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<<aloha annhig--mahalo for your reply--pretty sure that museum is the one we are going to in Florence--so will check out that site for sure-->>

aloha wavesurferoahu - the same website takes you to all the state museums in Florence where the rules are all the same.

My advice to people visiting Italy for the first time is to allow yourselves plenty of time, and I guess that if one of you is disabled that applies even more. Have you thought how you are going to get from the airport to your accommodation in Rome, then to the Vatican and then to the station in Rome? [the same for Florence and Venice of course]. Venice is particularly problematic for the wheelchair bound because of all the bridges so it would be sensible to look for a hotel along the Rio Terra list di Spagna just along from the station where there are no bridges to contend with and easy access to the vaporetti [water buses].

Bearing in mind that you might need/appreciate help with getting taxis, I would suggest staying in hotels on this first visit - they should be able to advise you on accessibility rather better than an Air BnB host who might not be available all the time.

BTW whilst I was looking at the web just now I came across this website which although a travel agent, also has a load if information for the disabled traveller in Europe. I hope you find it helpful.
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Old Jul 14th, 2018, 08:29 PM
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aloha annhig--I really appreciate your kokua--and sharing all your advice/suggestions with my wahine--having difficulty finding the website you referred to with info for the disabled passengers in Europe--again mahalo and a hui hou kakou
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Old Jul 15th, 2018, 04:14 AM
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I believe the travel agent website he referred to was: https://www.sagetraveling.com Despite their intent to sell services, there are many possibly helpful links within the website.

Rick Steves also has some suggestions at https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...h-disabilities

And this website has even more links to resources for disabled travelers in Europe: A traveler’s guide to Europe for the disabled and handicapped

Enjoy Europe!
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Old Jul 15th, 2018, 06:06 AM
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Thanks Whitehall - I see I did everything except provide the link which you have now so kindly done. As you say they are clearly and understandably trying to sell their services, they do provide a lot of what looks like very useful information.
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