AT Campania: the portal of accessible tourism in Campania

AT Campania logoWe’ve underlined many times how important it is, for the inclusion of people with a disability, increasing the availability of solutions ensuring an accessible tourism. This is the purpose of the AT Campania web portal as well, that’s been presented in these days in Naples by the local Rotary Club, together with Unione Italiana Ciechi (Italian Blind People Union). 

The goal of the AT Campania portal is to collect the accessible tourism solutions already active in the region and contributing, together with some collateral initiatives (seminars, conventions, events about accessible tourism) to boost the awareness of who works in this industry and of the entire community towards the need to create a world that can actually be suitable for all, regardless of any disability.

Napoli - Naples

Naples

The AT Campania portal doesn’t just collect the info about accessibility of tourism structures and services active in the region  (museums, restaurants, monuments, etc.), but also enables the users, through a free registration, to leave public reviews about the listed structures, so that they can share their direct experience with the other visitors of the website.

Amalfi

Amalfi

So, the accomodations will have the chance to let their accessible tourism offer be known by a wider audience, including also that share of tourists who are, too often, still ignored by the market, due to the persistence of bias and architectonical and cultural barriers.

Sorrento - Villa Cimbrone

Sorrento, Villa Cimbrone

There are plenty of reasons to visit Campania: the cultural, archaeological and environmental heritage of this region is very wide and able to satisfy everyone’s needs and tastes. Having the chance to enjoy it without worries about accessibility is essential, indees, to live a peaceful holiday.

Vesuvio - Vesuvius

Vesuvius

AT Campania has just started, but there are all the premises to make it grow and become a reference point for the tourism in Campania, starting from the dedication of its promoters. Let’s create our account on the website and share our experience: a more accessible world for everyone is possible, if every one of us does his own part! 

Sicily: an accessible tourism is possible

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.

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.

Sicilia Turismo per tutti

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.

Sicily - Syracuse

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.

 

Trentino: a new service for accessible holidays

Even though, usually, when we think about summer holidays, the first thing coming up to our mind is the sea, I’ve always been more attracted by mountain: uncontaminated landscapes to explore, in close contact with nature, far from the crowd and stress… Wonderful! Another quality of the mountain is that you can live it 12 months per year, in a different way based on the season. And the prospect becomes even more tempting if we think that even a context which is generally linked to the opposite of accessibility for people with motoric or sensory disabilities can, on the contrary, offer a lot to these visitors as well. It’s demonstrated also by the Trentino “Vacanza Facile” project, a web portal built up by several local companioning organizations: the “Archè” Social Co-operative, the “Scie di Passione” Ski School, the Social Co-operative “La Ruota”, AGSAT (the Trentino Association of Autistic People’ Parents), the Ski Elite Group, the Social Promotion Association “Nuove Rotte”, the “Zampa Amica” Association, the Autism Social Co-operative, the Erterle Social Shelter, the Integrated Personal Assistance Social Co-operative, La Mano (transportation service for disabled people) and Avisio Rafting.

Trentino

The Trentino “Vacanza Facile” project aims to let disabled people and their families know all the opportunities and structures this wonderful region offers to enable them enjoying their holiday, but always paying a lot of attention to everyone’ specific needs.

Trentino - lake

The accessible tourism offer collected on the website is very varied:

  • open air excursions on paths designed based on the participants needs, with the chance to benefit from accessible shelters and bivouacs along the tour
  • skiing on the suggestive Dolomites
  • rafting
  • pet therapy
  • water activities into the swimming pool
  • visits to museums and castles
  • country festivals and other opportunities of amusement and fun.

Trentino

And you can benefit from all of this without ever losing sight of the hosts safety, also thanks to the continuous presence and support of assistants, educators and specialised consultants.

So, are you ready to book your accessible stay in Trentino?

 

Accessible tourism: the global guide

On this website, we often state how important it is guaranteeing the right to an accessible tourism to everyone. Since also people with a motoric or sensory disability can and want to have fun, travel, discover new places, even very far from their daily life.

accessible tourism

One of the main obstacles preventing it from becoming real, in addition to the existence of architectonical barriers, is the fact that finding clear and detailed information about your dream destination can be very tricky. The Internet helps reducing distances and there’s a growing number of websites and blogs (including Move@bility!) that share useful info to enjoy a tourism for all.

accessible tourism guide

Now, there’s a new tool collecting info, contact details and reviews written “on the field” by disabled tourists and specialised operators: the Lonely Planet guide fully dedicated to barrier-free journeys all around the world. You can download the guide in PDF format for free from the e-shop area of the official website of the most renowned publisher of tourism guides. There are some countries missing (e.g., Brazil, Hungary, Czech Republic and Russia), but the guide is continuously updated, so maybe it will soon add new destinations.

But be careful! Traditionally, one of the features which made the Lonely Planet guides famous all around the world is the fact that the locations they describe have always been personally visited by the guide writers. In this case, even due to the guide’ global perspective, the main source of information is, on the contrary, the web, but they’re still considered reliable.

Of course, when we talk about journeys, needs vary based on the individual. And this principle, that can be applied to everyone, is even more so worth when we talk about accessible tourism, because, let’s say it paraphrasing Tolstoj, everyone is disabled his own way.

Therefore, my advice is to use the guide as a starting point to collect info. But you’d better check them calling or sending an e-mail to the hotel or the resort/attraction/location you’re interested in.

“The traveller is the journey”

Fernando Pessoa

Travelling by train without any care? You can!

If you’re making plans for the upcoming summer holidays, or even just a weekend trip, and you’re wondering how to move by train despite wheelchair, crutches or any other  obstacle, I’ve got good news for you: all the national and international carriers provide the so-called “reduced mobility passengers” with assistance (with different procedures depending on trains and stations!) to hop on and off the wagon and, in many cases, particularly convenient prices. But let’s go in order and see how to plan the journey on time.

train

  • Trenitalia offers an ad hoc assistance service, reserved to people with motoric or sensory disability (both permanent or temporary), psychic disabled people, elderly people and pregnant women. To benefit from it, you need to send, with at least 48 hours notice, a request to the blue room of the station you’re leaving from (here you have the list of the blue rooms, including timetables and details about the served stations), going there in person, sending an e-mail (you’ll find the contacts for each station in the above list) or calling the toll free number 800 90 60 60, specifying the details of your journey, the assistance you need and the meeting point you prefer, plus a telephone number for any communication. Thereafter, you only have to wait for the confirmation mail and/or SMS, where you’ll find also the meeting time (usually, 30 minutes before the train departure). There’s no need to send the request to the station you’ll leave back, usually: the blue room of the station you’re leaving from will notice its colleagues, who will set everything. The service is available in almost all the stations of Trenitalia group, but pay attention: depending on the stations or the type of train (for instance, so far, not all the regional trains are equipped to allow the usage of a lift truck, needed to guarantee the access on board to people using a wheelchair or with severe walking issues), something could change. So, my advice (based on my own experience…) is to always contact the blue room of the departure station before booking your journey, so that you can properly plan everything! Furthermore, on Trenitalia website you can find a simplified buying procedure reserved to reduced mobility customers who’d need it, plus the possibility to book and pay the tickets for reduced mobility passengers and (if any) their companions with most favourable conditions, thanks to the Postoblu.
  • Italo is committed to guarantee the maximum accessibility to passengers with motoric or sensory issues on their train convoys, too. There you’ll find both reserved seats for passengers who use a wheelchair and equipped toilets for motoric disabled people, plus Braille signage for visually impaired passengers. You can request the service you need only calling Pronto Italo contact center at 06 07 08 at least 12 hours before departure. Another difference compared with Trenitalia: when booking, you must also submit documents certifying your disability, both permanent or temporary.
  • Are you ready to leave? Enjoy your trip!