Visiting Venice in a Wheelchair

Traversing the waterways and bridges of Venice can sometimes seem like a challenge even when you are an able-bodied person but imagine being in a wheelchair? This interesting article in The Toronto Star explains how one woman, Washington, D.C. Judge Pat Broderick tackled the city despite her disability. She provides hope and some work arounds for anyone in her situation. “Faced with a steep bridge on the way to the famed heart of the city at San Marco Square, we boarded a vaporetto at the nearest stop. It meant going the long way instead of taking a three-minute walk, but the long way in Venice is always a feast for the eyes and the camera lens,” writes Broderick’s friend.

Here are some tips from Broderick and her traveling companion:

  • Planning a trip: Italian travel agency Regency San Marino specializes in accessible travel and arranges tours for individuals, small groups and families through the Internet and email. Its website also lists hotels and other services that are rated accessible. http://www.accessibleitaly.com/ (photo above from their site)
  • Canal Bridges: Venice provides keys for mechanical lifts that are installed on some bridges. (Regency San Marino can arrange to provide keys.)
  • Transport: The water buses or vaporettos provide room for one or two wheelchairs on each boat. Wheelchair users and one companion are admitted free.

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