When we talk about accessible tourism, we instinctively think about foreign destinations. After all, even here on Move@bility we’ve seen some examples of foreign destinations that have accessibility as the feather in their cap. But, luckily, also Italy is more and more concerned with issues affecting people with reduced mobility, elderly and families with little children. We saw the example of Trentino; today, let’s talk about my homeland: Sicily.
I won’t go into a detailed description of the landscape beauty and the cultural, artistic, architectonic and (not a bad thing, indeed) culinary abundance of Sicily, also because a whole website won’t be enough to list all of them. But there’s no doubt that even who knows it well, like me, would hardly link this wonderful island to the concept of accessibility: due to the structure of the territory and the well-known economic issues that grip the island, there are still many architectonical barriers left, limiting the daily life both of disabled and able-bodied people.
But even in Sicily there are top class examples in this field, such as the Sicilia Turismo per Tutti (Sicily Tourism for All) association, that has been working for years to support the accessible tourism development in Sicily, launching initiatives aiming to include all tourists, even those with “special needs”. So far, the association operates mostly in the territory of Syracuse and its surroundings, with initiatives such as: the simultaneous translation into LIS of the tragedies enacted at the Greek theatre, the visit with tactile experience for blind people at the Papyrus Museum, the ramps assisting the access of people with motoric disabilities to the most beautiful churches in the city, the itineraries designed on the specific needs of each touristic group, the sport events for all.
Of course, the goal is to widespread these initiatives all over the whole region, working in synergy with the local administrations and private entrepreneurs operating in industries with a touristic interest, to reach an ambitious as much as essential final goal: a tourism that can really be for all.