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Venice on a Wheelchair

Old Mar 6th, 2017, 03:10 PM
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Venice on a Wheelchair

We are going to Venice, Paris and Rome for the first time. Our friend who is on a wheelchair usually has no issues getting around in the US but Venice doesn't look too easy to maneuver. We are willing to pay extra to make our vacation a little less inconvenient. Can you suggest a hotel or legal apartment agency and any hurdles we may come across with her being on a wheelchair? It is our first time in Europe and we didn't think this would even be an issue but Venice looks challenging. We don't want to skip it!
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 03:25 PM
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I have seen people in wheelchairs in Venice, so it is possible. Some of the bridges have ramps. However, most of the bridges don't, most of the buildings don't have elevators - although some buildings turn out to have one if you ask. You need to do a LOT of planning.

I would have thought you might have some issues in Paris and Rome as well. You will need to make sure that all your accommodation is wheelchair accessible, which does not just mean that it has elevators, as there may be steps up to the building.

You may find this a good starting point:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...h-disabilities

A little searching online also turned up these:

https://www.disabled-world.com/trave...ravel-tips.php

https://wheelchairtravel.org/category/site-news/

https://www.intltravelnews.com/2016/...ility-impaired

Good luck!
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 03:25 PM
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I rolled a suitcase around Venice and it is challenging! There are bridges over everything. Most of them are just a few steps up and down. Can someone help your friend over those? It is going to be tough, but I wouldn't miss it. I wonder if there is a company that specializes in all access tours? Definitely find a boat tour that is wide enough. It will be a zillion times easier to tour by water than going up and down all those little bridges.
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 03:31 PM
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Google also found this:
http://www.sagetraveling.com/Venice-Disabled-Access

More than 50% of the city is accessible – Most people think of a whole lot of bridges and canals when they think of Venice. While this is accurate, there are actually numerous neighborhoods that can be visited without needing to go over any bridges. As a result, over half of Venice can be visited in a wheelchair.

Yeah, don't miss it and good luck!
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 03:32 PM
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Here's the link for the Venice Comune's information about accessibility:

http://www.veneziaunica.it/en/conten...thout-barriers

My favorite hotel can be reached from the San Stai vaporetto stop without crossing a bridge. It has at least one ground floor accessible room that I know of.
http://www.alpontemocenigo.com/
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 04:07 PM
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Hurdles . . . just because a hotel says it has an elevator don't assume it is fully accessible. I've seen six steps or so to reach the elevator in a hotel lobby. Many Italian building are hundreds of year old and have been renovated to work as hotels. Ask questions about the facilities to be sure you are reserving what you need.
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 04:18 PM
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Also ask about the size of the elevator and the width of doorways. You are probably better off with a modern or fully renovated hotel with one or more hadicapped rooms, although you may not find one in the historic districts.
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 04:55 PM
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What you will be encountering, if you look at Venice Comune site mentioned above, is that there are islands of accessibility which you need to connect by Vaporetto. Between islands of accessibility are bridges. Staying in a modern accessible hotel would provided you with accessibility within the hotel and the island where it sits, but you still have work to do to get to the next island - by vaporetto or over bridges.

I have seen a touching scenes of a family with husband and strong grown up children lifting up their wheelchair bound mother over bridges in Venice.

One good news is that the streets in Venice are not cobblestones. They are rectangular tiles. You can virtually walk around Venice using google earth to see what you are up against.
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Old Mar 10th, 2017, 09:12 AM
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We are going to skip Venice and do Rome and Paris only thank you everyone!!!
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Old Mar 10th, 2017, 11:55 AM
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Your choice, but don't assume that Paris and Rome will be easy. You still need to do a lot of planning. (Remember, the first "A" in ADA is "Americans".)
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Old Mar 10th, 2017, 05:28 PM
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There are several travelers on Fodor's that use wheelchairs and have posted a lot of info (on evaluating hotel access, etc.). This one in particular has done quite a bit of traveling. You can scroll down through her topics to find threads that might apply.

http://www.fodors.com/community/prof...c86/topics.cfm


http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...wheelchair.cfm

Other travelers.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...italy-help.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...eelchair-1.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...italy-help.cfm

Keep in mind some sites may have added better access as I find Italy starting to do a bit more than in the past.
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Old Mar 10th, 2017, 11:16 PM
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In 2002 I took my young son to Venice whilst he was temporarily wheelchair-bound. The trip had been planned before his injury and we didn;t want to cancel.

It was VERY difficult.

Firstly, all the bridges are stepped rather than ramped so we either had to bump the wheelchair up backwards, or carry it - he was able to get out and hop up and over fortunately.

Secondly, some of the bridges do have lifts, but they are very slow, aren't always on both sides of the bridge, and don't always work (something to do with humidity). We got a key to use these lifts from an office at the airport.

We stayed in a first floor apartment just off Frezzeria (just behind Piazza San Marco). The chair stayed down in the hallway and son hopped/crawled up the stairs.

On a positive note, getting on and off the vaporetti was easy,so we took a lot of boat rides, and enjoyed Murano and Burano.

We saw one gentleman in a motorised chair with caterpillar tracks going up and over the bridges and were very envious!

It wasn't easy, and would have been much harder had my son not been young, not weighing much, and able to hop for short stretches.

Bear in mind this was in 2002, so things may have changed a bit since then, but our visit was rather challenging.
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Old Mar 10th, 2017, 11:19 PM
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This might be useful for you...

https://quickvenice.com/more/wheelchairs.htm
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Old Mar 11th, 2017, 05:01 AM
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Since 2002 they have added ramps to a few bridges. The ones I remember seeing were the north side of the Grand Canal.
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Old Mar 11th, 2017, 05:12 AM
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The wheelchair will be challenging, to say the least. We've been to Venezia six times and each time we are older and we try to travel a little wiser.

The bridges are definitely a challenge because, as mentioned above, very few have ramps. I would suggest reserving a hotel close to Piazza St. Mark's because of this factor.

One of the truly enjoyable experiences we've discovered in Venezia is to wander the back streets at night off of the main areas.The city becomes a different and peaceful place. With some pre-planning you may be able to develop some strategies so you all will be able to enjoy this adventure.

Buon viaggio,
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Old Mar 11th, 2017, 06:10 AM
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The OP has made it clear they are going to skip Venice on this trip, which IMO is probably sensible.
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Old Mar 11th, 2017, 07:04 AM
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Just for info, I understand the OP has passed, but I came across sage travel which seems to be relatively up to date

http://www.sagetraveling.com/Venice-Disabled-Access
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Old Mar 11th, 2017, 07:06 AM
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you'll spot that sage also has advice on Rome and Paris.
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