Today I’m going to help those travelers that have reduced mobility and intend to know the citys of Lisbon, in Portugal, and Rome, Italy.
In October, 2016, I traveled wiht my grandfather that celebrate his 80 years old birthday abd it was a real trouble to find informations about acessibility since there is any place that has all you need in only one place.
So I want to put here every kind of information that I find in my research.
(IMPORTANT) My grandfather can walk but its difficult to him, because of his age and artroses in his knee. So, sometimes we need him to walk or just get up so we could carry his mobility scooter – resume: its necessary to travel with someone to help you.
My tips can help but its important to check everything before your trip because in some places we discover that the acessibility was not avaiable in THAT DAY.
1) Acessibility in Airports:
When you buy a plane tickets or until 72 hours before the flight you can inform the Plane Enterprise that you are a passanger that need assistance. The enterprise will inform the airport wich kind of assistance you need and will make it available.
The service has no cost at all and the only thing you must do in the day of your flight is: when you arrive in the airport, go to the helpdesk and inform your code tracking and flying company then they will provide the assistance in that airport and inform the destiny airport.
We asked for my grandfather a wheelchair and a person to help. That persons always helps a lot not only with the transport but to make people go do the right and simples way. People in wheelchair has a lot of preferences, so the transferences is faster with them.
In Lisbon airport they transport my grandfather in a golf car through the airport.
WebSite Lisbon Airport: http://www.aeroportolisboa.pt/pt/lis/servicos-e-compras/servicos-premium/experiencias-unicas
WebSite Fiumicino airport(Rome): http://www.adr.it/pt/web/aeroporti-di-roma-en-/pax-fco-reduced-mobility
2)About mobility scooter:
You probably have already seen this chair in tv or movies, and normally people use it in supermakets.
But its not really easy to find a place that has a rent service in Europe.
I find some places in Lisbon and choose a mini scooter of “Mais que cuidar” wich you can make them delivery it or catch by yourself in the store (and save 50 euros!).
The rent cost 9 euros per day and you can have a reserve by e-mail.
I really recommend this service
In Rome it was really hard to find that kind of service and, when i found, it was really expensive. Anyway, we choose to hire in "Acessible Italy.com" and i’m glad of the choice since everything Works perfectly with it.
This store doesn’t give the option to take it in the store, so you have to pay 55 euros of delivery taxes.
The rent cost 34,80 euros per day (and 198,70 euros per week) and you can reserve by e-mail.
3) Using public transport:
We just use public transport, that means: subway and bus.
In Lisbon there is a wonderful public transport since most of them are accessible. The is a subway line that connect airport to São Sebastião station that all the stations between are 100% accessible.
ATTENTION Stay in the station in a placa that the subway “pilot” can see you, so he will look to see you getting in and off.
In places that transport in not accessible, we used a hop on hop off bus
- http://www.city-sightseeing.com/tours/portugal/lisbon.htm,that cost 19 euros for 24 hours ticket that are accessible to wheelchair and mobility scooter.
In Rome, i really dont recomend public transport. A lot of stations are not accessible and we faced a lot of problems in the ones that have accessibility.
Besides, the streets doesn’t have access ramp for wheelchair users, so they need help to get down the sidewalk.
To speak the truth, our travel just worked because of my boyfriends help to carry the mobility scooter lots of times AND because my grandfather can walk.
I recomend to get a hotel near Termini, take the tourist bus and rent the mobility scooter to enjoy the atraction of the city since its easier and more confortable. I recommend WebSite: http://www.hop-on-hop-off-bus.com/rome-bus-tours but there are other companies.
3) Points of interest in Lisbon, Fátima and Sintra (Portugal) to Wheelchair users:
I have to make a compliment to Lisbon since its a beautiful and accessible city. All the sidewalks has access ramp and the transport facilities make the life of tourist easier.
However, the neighborhood called Belém, tha place of some atractions as para "Padrão do Descobrimento", "Mosteiro dos Jerônimos" e "Torre de Belém" you need to take a cab or a touristic bus (that i recomend).
Other place that you need a cab to go is Castelo de São Jorge (São Jorge Castle).
We went with my grandfather to that places: Oceanário de Lisboa, Elevador de Santa Justa e Mosteiro dos Jerônimos (is not fully accessible). Padrão do Descobrimento was under renovation.
Another places that a wheelchair user can go is: Castelo de São Jorge (but its hard to get there and is not fully accessible) and Ruínas do Carmo.
To visit Fatima I recommend you to rente a car and rent mobility scooter, since the sanctuary is really big. To go to Sintra, is better go by train but i dont think is the best tour to do since most of it is seeing castles and palaces, wich are not fully accessible (even when their website say they are, as Pena Castle and Mouros castle) and i really dont remember if the public transpor is accessible.
In that day my gransfather went by foot and did the sightseeing bus tour, only. He was not interested in seeing castles and all.
4) Points of interest in Rome (Italy):
Repeting: Rome is not a city that is easy to tour if you are in a wheelchair, even id you are mobility scooter.
However, I think it works if you are in a hosted in a well located place (near Termini, as I suggest before) and doing tour in a sightseeing bus, that ldrop you off near the principal touristic points.
In the touristic places, the treatment was really good. In the moment that we arrive at Coliseu, some of his workers appear and take my mom and grandfather to other line to get tickets. The same happened in other atractions: S’Angelo Castle, Vaticano Museum and San Peter Basilics. In all that places there are lifts and access ramps.
Other places that i know there is a lift is Museum Venezzia/Elevator of Vitor Emaluelle e Museo Capitolini, the last one is hard to get since there is a really big and dangerous ramp, so I recommend to take a cab to go there and ask the driver to leave you up there.
Place that I dont reccomend: Foro romano and Palatino because they are not accessible, ora t least i dont think is safe to go there because the floors is all made of tiles and uneven.
I recomend to stay in Lisbon around Rossio subway station because that is the only one downtown that is accessible. Besides, you can go to the airport using subway needing only one change of trains.
In Rome, I recommend to stay near Termini, since its the train central station and has a subway station that accessibility Works. Also, most of the touristic buses get off near termini.
Thats it folks, any doubts please comment that if i know i’ll try to help.