Accessible Exploration in Rome

Content via Disability Horizons
Disability Horizons


a woman in a manual wheelchair at the colosseum

You might think a city like Rome, full of ancient ruins, would be impossible for a wheelchair user to access. Well, think again! Traveler Carrie-Ann Lightley has insider tips for navigating the ancient city in a wheelchair.

Finding wheelchair access

When Carrie-Ann visited Rome, she stayed in the accessible hotel, Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo, located just a short distance from one of the city’s most recognizable relics: the Colosseum. “You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Colosseum’s access would be difficult for wheelchair users,” shares Carrie-Ann. “But thankfully it has been completely modernised and has a smooth flat surface throughout, as well as a lift and accessible toilets.” Entrance is free for disabled users and one companion. Tip: you’ll need to provide proof of disability for free entry. Carrie-Ann says, “my Blue Badge for disabled parking was accepted.”

Other sites in Rome that are entirely wheelchair accessible include the Pantheon, the Santa Maria in Trastevere, the Vatican Museums, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Admission to these sights is free.

Carrie-Ann also notes additional accessible landmarks such as the Roman Forum and the Sistine Chapel, but cautions wheelchair users that these may be more difficult to access because of the uneven terrain (at the Forum) and the large crowds (at the Sistine Chapel).

As with any vacation, you’ll want to be sure to take in the local scenes like the Campo de’ Fiori, a vibrant daily market, and the Piazza Navona, a beautiful square in central Rome. Both of these are accessible to wheelchair users.

While Carrie-Ann admits that “Rome isn’t an easy city for someone with mobility requirements to visit,” she says that in the end, the effort is worth witnessing the “beautiful sights everywhere you look, vibrant culture and magnificent food.”

Do you have insider tips for traveling abroad in a wheelchair? Send them to us, and your tips might be featured on AbleThrive!

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