Rome by Wheelchair: Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for Rome

Written by on 21. September 2020 in Worth knowing & Tips with 0 Comments

Rome by wheelchair. Are you asking yourself: Is Rome accessible by wheelchair? In this article you will find out whether the many cobblestone streets in Rome are suitable for wheelchairs and whether people with disabilities get reduced admission to museums and sights in Rome.

Rome barrier-free
Tips for wheelchair users and people with disabilities in Rome at a glance
  • Find addresses for barrier-free hotels in Rome in this article.
  • Restaurant recommendations for wheelchair users with walk-in toilets.
  • The metro line A has barely accessible access. Better use lines B and C.
  • All buses of the lines 157 and 590 in Rome have wheelchair ramps.
  • You can order taxis for wheelchair users in Rome at 0039 06-3570.
  • Barrier-free and free entrance to famous attractions in Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museums.

Stress-free and barrier-free through Rome – traveling in Rome by wheelchair

When wandering through Rome, one notices quite quickly that the Italian capital dates back to a time when neither wheelchairs nor the word accessibility existed. Old buildings, cobblestones, broken or nonexistent elevators are just a few of the hurdles you can come across in Rome by wheelchair. With the right planning in advance, the city trip through Rome with a wheelchair is not only feasible, but also stress-free and possible almost without compromise.

Rome by wheelchair: Barrier-free accommodation in Rome

In the winding stone streets of Rome and access to the main churches and museums in Rome, the visit of the Italian capital by wheelchair can be a challenge. In terms of accessibility, there is (still) a lot of catching up to do in Rome. A city built on seven hills, is not necessarily handicapped accessible per se. The big advantage, however, is that the main attractions of the city center in Rome are very close to each other. With a centrally located accommodation you are thus already in the middle and can avoid long journeys, which cause unnecessary stress and may cost you valuable time.

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Of course, in a big city like Rome, there are tons of accommodations for visitors. Therefore, the selection of barrier-free hotels and apartments in the center is pretty good. Particularly large hotel chains are more likely to be wheelchair accessible. Alternatively, I’ve selected a few smaller guesthouses and hotels in Rome for you that offer barrier-free access and a strategic location for your sightseeing program:

  • The DNB House Hotel can be found in the central but picturesque Monti district; between the Colosseum and Termini central station. The hotel is a former monastery and has very well-furnished barrier-free rooms.

  • Not far from the bustling Piazza di Spagna, the three-star Hotel Adriano occupies an elegant 17th-century building. The access to the hotel is wheelchair accessible and the rooms are modern and handicapped accessible with designer furniture.

  • If you like it a bit more comfortable and you would like to spend your city trip in Rome in an apartment rather than a hotel, I can also recommend the Vatican Holiday Apartment 307. It is located less than two kilometers from St. Peter’s Basilica and provides not only access to a charming garden, but is also wheelchair accessible and wheelchair friendly in its design.

Rome by wheelchair: From A to B by metro, taxi or bus

Especially public transport in Rome has its pitfalls. In the central metro line A barrier-free access to the platforms and trains are by no means self-evident. Overall, however, the metro has some wheelchair accessible stations (mainly the metro stations of lines B and C), but the proper operation of elevators and stairlifts is not always guaranteed.

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The buses are unfortunately not all equipped with ramps. In the bus lines 157 and 590, however, ramps are provided as standard. The latter bus line conveniently follows the route of the metro line A.

A good, if more expensive alternative is otherwise a taxi. To get a car appropriate for wheelchairs, call 0039 06-3570.

In general, if you want to explore Rome without public transport, you should be prepared for lots and lots of cobblestones. But with a companion by your side you can still master the streets of Rome. I recommend to inflate the tires properly before heading out and just in case, have a flick set and an air pump at your disposal. Like that you are prepared for any emergency.

Rome by wheelchair: Barrier-free restaurants in the city center of Rome

A restaurant in Rome is easy to find. However, many of them are not really wheelchair user friendly. For example, the bathrooms are often located in the basement. Of course, there are once again barrier-free alternatives, of which I would like to introduce you to just a few:

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  • The Belli all’angolo restaurant is located in Via dell’Olmetto 22, not far from the district Trastevere, between the famous Bocca della Verità and the Tiber Island, and is open daily from noon to 11.30 pm.

  • Restaurant Perpetual welcomes you between the Colosseum and the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, at Piazza Iside 5, from 7 pm to midnight from Monday to Saturday.

  • At the Art Cibò & Cafè you will be spoiled with Sicilian cuisine. The restaurant is located in the heart of the old town in Via Leccosa 59; Open daily from 8 pm to 10.30 pm and Thursdays to Sundays from 1 pm to 2.30 pm.

Rome by wheelchair: Barrier-free access to the most famous museums and churches in Rome

Barrier-free access to Rome’s main attractions and museums is possible. Thanks to the city’s commitment and legal provisions requiring the removal of architectural barriers, with various facilitation systems.

The Colosseum in Rome is the largest ancient amphitheater and fortunately has a lift. Therefore, even as a wheelchair user you can travel in time and experience gladiatorial fights on site. Persons with disabilities and one accompanying person are granted free access to the Colosseum. In addition, the ticket is valid for two consecutive days and allows you to visit the Colosseum as well as the Roman Forum and the Palatine.

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The Forum Romanum in Rome, after all, the oldest Roman forum in the world, is sometimes quite steep and due to the cobblestones only to be recommended if you have a companion at your side.

St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as almost all areas of the Vatican Museums in Rome are also accessible to wheelchair users without any problems. Bathrooms for disabled people are also available in the Vatican. Wheelchair users as well as their accompanying person also receive free admission (without queuing). Unfortunately, the free tickets for disabled visitors and accompanying persons can not be pre-booked online. Instead they are issued at the special admission desk (Permessi Speciali) or in the entrance hall of the Vatican Museums.

Unfortunately, St. Peter’s dome in Rome is only accessible via a staircase. Nevertheless, if you visit Rome by wheelchair, you do not have to miss out on a spectacular panoramic view over Rome. In the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, also popularly known as a ‘typewriter’, you may use a lift. From the large terrace above the building, you have a wonderful view over the whole city of Rome.

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The access to the Pantheon in Rome is stepless and hence also possible with a wheelchair.

Do not miss the famous squares of Rome. You can also visit Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, the Trevi Fountain and Campo dei Fiori in a wheelchair. Here, however, caution is advised again, as there are cobblestones in the smaller streets and the sidewalks are not always in the best condition. With the help of a companion and a little patience, you can still discover the Roman streets and sights. Alternatively you can take the main street Via del Corso. The sidewalks are narrow but at least tarred.

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Rome by wheelchair: Dolce vita on Rome’s piazzas

As you see, a city trip to Rome by wheelchair is possible if you know about some tricks in advance. You may not be able to discover each and every attraction or sight in Rome. A broken or nonexistent elevator might cross your path, but that’s just one of Rome’s many facets.

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In any case, life in Rome mainly takes place outside. While you can admire Rome’s art and cultural treasures in books or documentaries, you can only experience the Roman piazza feeling in the streets and squares of Rome. Surrounded by the colors, tastes, smells and sounds of the city, which give Rome its true incomparable magic. Apart from the history and art, the atmosphere in the squares, the streets and alley inspire me personally again and again in this city.

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