Accessibility: Kimap maps Bologna too

We already talked, some time ago, about Kimap, the digital ecosystem developed by Kinoa srl aiming to map the architectonical barriers in our cities, paying particular attention to the accessibility for people with a motoric disability. After Florence, now it was Bologna’s turn. Here, the mapping process involved the streets that, starting from the Central Station, lead to the most important monuments and the centre of the city and the university area. Overall, the Kimappers mapped the accessibility of about 8 km of streets daily traversed by tourists and citizens.

Accessibility map of Bologna

Mapping of the centre of Bologna

The green dots represent a good level of accessibility for the street, the yellow ones indicate small obstacles and vibrations averagely impacting on the path, the red ones indicate a danger registered through very emphasized vibrations of the wheelchair and through obstacles or stairs that are difficult to avoid. Then, the red symbol with the wheelchair indicates the presence of architectonical barriers, the purple one with the skittle the presence of a temporary obstacle, while the orange symbol signals a slope that’s hard to traverse.

As always, all the job has been carried out with the precious contribution of the Kimappers, the community of users and volunteers (whose number constantly grows) who daily share paths, obstacles, experience and tourist itineraries that are accessible also for people who, to move, uses a wheelchair or other aids.

Kimap - smartphone app

The Kimap project sure doesn’t stop here: the next steps include the release of the free app on the most important stores for mobile devices and further tests in the most renowned tourist cities in our Country. The next stage has been decided already: i twill be Rome, our capital city, that attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. A big challenge, indeed, given the particular features of the wonderful (but not very accessible indeed) “eternal city”!

We’ll talk about it for sure on this website, of course: stay tuned!

Kimap: technology supporting accessibility

It would be great to be able to go around without bumping into any architectonical barrier, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make this dream come true in a short while. Then, what do we have to do? Accepting the status quo and wait for a magic wand to remove all the obstacles or doing something concrete? The Kimap creators chose the second option.

Kimap logo

Kimap - app per smartphone

What’s Kimap? It’s an “anti-barriers” digital ecosystem, made up by an app for smartphones (that will soon be available both for Android and IOS devices) helping to map the architectonical barriers and serve as a “barrier-free” GPS, helping people with disability to easily move along the mapped paths, a user-friendly IoT (Internet of Things) device, that improves the results of mapping, keeping them constantly up-to-date, and a community of users that confirm or update live le info obtained through the mapping process. Kimap has been promoted and designed by Kinoa, an innovative start-up founded one year ago to design innovative products integrating Big Data and Internet of Things technologies.

A few days ago, in Florence, the Kimap creators organized the first “live”mapping of the city, companioning with the kimapper Armando Dei, who covered on his wheelchair some strategic points of the city both for tourists and citizens moving for business, study and other reasons. The mapping involved: the Campo di Marte railway station, Piazza Beccaria towards the old town centre and the Sant’Ambrogio market; via Maragliano, piazza San Jacopino and Viale Redi, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Pitti, Santo Spirito and Piazza del Carmine.


The kimapper Armando Dei

The mapping allowed to obtain various maps in real time, directly stored on the kimapper’ smartphone. They assess the architectonical barriers using three colours: the green dots indicate a street with a good accessibility level; the yellow ones indicate small obstacles and minimum risk of vibrations during the path; finally, the red dots indicate a sign of primary risk registered by very strong vibrations of the wheelchair and by obstacles and stairs hard to overcome. Moreover, black is used to mark “not-accessible” roads, that cannot be safely covered due to the lack of sidewalks and/or a very damaged asphalt. Using the Kimap app, the user can also point out other temporary obstacles, building sites and slopes that are hard to face.

Kimap la mappa

The map of Campo di Marte’s area

The Kimap project has just started and the team is still working on the app and on the device improvement. After Florence, real time mappings will be carried out in other cities, companioning with associations, universities and local administrations. It’s gonna be a long and complex job, but the premises to success are excellent. Good luck, Kimap!


Tuscany: barrier-free art, culture and nature

Have you watched the TV series about the Medici family and, now, wish to revalue Tuscany? If you’re looking for a destination that’s rich in alternatives able to satisfy everyone’s taste and needs, with special consideration for accessibility, this is the right place! Indeed, despite the medieval structure of many cities, the region has been committed for years to ease the life of residents and tourists with reduced mobility.

Tuscany - Florence


Let’s start from the Tuscany county seat, Florence, one of the richest cities in history and art, not just in Italy. Moving into the city through public transport is advisable, since both buses and trams are fully accessible both for people with motoric and sensory disabilities. As regards monuments, museums and other attractions to visit, you are only spoilt for choice. The most important churches in the city (starting from S. Maria del Fiore Cathedral) are accessible to everyone and can be visited for free. Are you interested in museums? The Uffizi have elevators to ease the access for visitors with motoric disabilities and a tactile route for blind and partially-sighted people. For deaf visitors, we must recommend “InSegnami l’Arte”, an ad hoc route inside the museum, with guides and educational videos in sign language. Palazzo Pitti’s Museum is accessible as well, without too many issues, thanks to the presence of elevators: by the way, it’s advisable to contact in advance the staff, so that someone can open the door which communicates with the galleries, that’s normally locked up. Do you want to have a tour at Boboli’s Garden? If there’s someone helping you, it won’t be too hard. Furthermore, keep in mind that most of the city museums can be visited for free by disabled people and their companions (even jumping the queues!), just showing your invalidity certificate.

Tuscany - Sienna

Sienna, the Palio

Would you prefer to pop round to Sienna, maybe for the Palio, that attracts thousands of tourists at Piazza del Campo and its surroundings? Here as well, churches and museums have been adapted to make them accessible and usable also by disabled tourists (apropos, I recommend you the interesting and evocative “Turismo dei Suoni”- “Sounds Tourism”- project, aiming to enable also visually impaired tourists to enjoy the most important attractions in the city) and by families with children.

Tuscany - Pisa

Pisa, Piazza dei Miracoli

I bet you won’t miss Pisa, with its suggestive Piazza dei Miracoli and the very well-known leaning tower, right? The square can be reached also by car and, once you’ve arrived, the accessibility to each step of the museum itinerary (Baptistery, Cathedral, Tower and monumental Cemetery) is granted by ramps and tactile routes. Unfortunately, the leaning Tower interiors aren’t accessible to people with motoric disability, but you can always enjoy it from outside!

Tuscany - Maremma


But Tuscany doesn’t just mean art and history. The region also offers a great number of parks, oasis and protected forests and most of them are fully accessible, thanks to itineraries designed to satisfy every kind of visitors’ needs.

There would be many more to say about the accessible beauty of this enchanting land. For more info also about other destinations, you can refer to this website, in addition to those of the local administrations. There is nothing left for me to do but wish you a nice holiday!