We’re approaching the Carnival climax and, in Italy, “Carnival” means, first, Venice, with its masks wearing very elegant and refined costumes. Who wouldn’t like enjoying that show live, at least for once in his life? Not to mention the other thousands of reasons to visit one of the most fascinating cities in Italy and in the whole world, that yearly attracts tourists from all the continents.
Yes, indeed: but Venice, with its streets, bridges, all that water, doesn’t exactly seem to be a synonym of accessibility, for people living with motoric or visual disabilities. This, at least, apparently. Actually, doing some search, I discovered that, in the last years, even the city immersed into the water is very committed to accessibility. Sure, we’re still talking about a city with an ancient structure and, by its nature, fragile, so it’s impossible to make too drastic interventions to reduce architectonical barriers. But it doesn’t mean that no intervention is possible, as the city administration’ work shows.
Today, thanks to the commitment towards public transport and minimization of the architectonical barriers that, until a few years ago, made it actually “off limits” for disabled people, about 70% of the old town centre of Venice is accessible to who has a motoric disability. The Città per Tutti Service and the EBA (Architectonical Barriers Removal) Office of the city have designed a map of accessible Venice, downloadable for free in PDF format from the Municipality website. This document summarizes useful info and practical tips enabling people with motoric disabilities to visit the city.
The map highlights the accessibility of the isles which make up the city, based on the availability (or lack) of public transport lines, using different colours to mark the areas which are accessible by steamboat (in green), those accessible by motorboat or having an “assisted” bridge (in light green) and those that aren’t accessible by public transport vehicles (in white). But it isn’t all! On the map, you can also find info about:
- municipality info points;
- tourism terminals (railway station, airport, marine station);
- parking areas;
- public navigation transport stops;
- public bathrooms;
- assisted bridges
Furthermore, on the Municipality website, you can also find accessible itineraries, with details about the accessibility of monuments, buildings and attractions, so that you can avoid unpleasant surprises once you’re there. Any doubt or question? You can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your request filling the online form.
And there’s even more! If you don’t want to miss the chance to enjoy a romantic tour by gondola, you can benefit from the “Gondolas4All” service, a simple and, at the same time, smart way to remove an architectonical (and not just it) barrier between the disabled tourists and the chance to enjoy the beauty of Venice also from the sea.