Looking for accessible Rome tips?
Rome streets and sidewalks can be notoriously difficult to navigate as a pedestrian, let alone in a wheelchair or with a walking stick.
However, there are plenty of options for people with limited mobility to visit Rome's attractions.
I usually recommend walking around Rome, so you can go slowly and see smaller streets and piazzas.
Of course, this is not always feasible.
If you have limited mobility, there are still lots of way to enjoy Rome.
Here's what you need to know about visiting Rome with limited mobility or in a wheelchair:
The ancient Romans were pretty amazing at building aqueducts, roads, and monuments that have stood for centuries.
Unfortunately, it seems that modern Rome has not quite come up to 20th century standards when it comes to accessibility.
We have a lot of uneven cobblestone streets (that already make walking hard on one's feet), broken curbs, and either non-existing sidewalks or sidewalks so narrow, you need to walk in single file.
These are barely ideal conditions for walking, let alone getting around on wheels, whether we are talking about a wheelchair, bicycle, or baby stroller.
Most of Rome's popular attractions have at least some accessibility for people with limited mobility or in a wheelchair.
The Vatican Museums has a really excellent page in English with everything you need to know about visiting the Vatican Museums with limited mobility.
Entrance is free to those in a wheelchair as well as their caregiver.
You can come with your own wheelchair or ask to use one of theirs (free.)
They have several available to borrow but if you want to be absolutely sure you get one when you go, you can write them in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One great thing is you do not have to worry about booking in advance.
Just show up and you will be shown where to go to collect your free ticket.
If you have a disability but are not in a wheelchair, visit the Vatican Museums website to see if you are eligible for free entry.
You can also visit Saint Peter's Basilica with a wheelchair.
There are plenty of ramps throughout that make it fairly easy.
All the bathrooms have at least one stall for those in a wheelchair.
I've found the best online advice about this is on John Sage's website.
One thing that is unfortunately not available to those who are in a wheelchair and unable to walk at all is the shortcut that goes from the Sistine Chapel to Saint Peter's Basilica.
Part of this shortcut does involve a small ramp but most of it is made up of stairs and there is no lift or other equipment that would enable someone in a wheelchair to take this shortcut.
The Colosseum is certainly visitable in a wheelchair, but your options are a little limited.
There is a ramp for entry, and you can move around parts of the lower level of the Colosseum.
There is an elevator to reach the second level.
Unfortunately, it's not possible to visit the underground or upper tiers in a wheelchair.
Luckily it's pretty easy to visit the Pantheon in a wheelchair.
The square is paved with cobblestones but they are fairly uniform and the ground is mostly flat.
Inside the Pantheon, you can easily navigate those original marble floors put there during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in around 120 C.E.
You can visit the Galleria Borghese in a wheelchair.
You can come in your own, or ask to borrow one of theirs once you arrive.
You cannot book one of their wheelchairs in advance, but just ask when you get there.
There is an elevator inside that will allow you to visit both floors of this amazing museum.
The Capitoline Museums is one of the more accessible Rome attractions. You can visit much of the museum in a wheelchair.
I discovered, thanks to wheelchairtraveling.com, that the issue is more about GETTING TO the entrance to the Capitoline Museums.
In June 2023, Rome opened the fascinating site of Largo di Torre Argentina to visitors.
You can now go down into this important archaeological space and get up close to the ancient temples there.
The site is equipped with a lift as well as wide, well-built ramps and walkways, so is an excellent choice for visitors in a wheelchair.
While there are a few less accessible Rome sites for those in a wheelchair, you can still see a lot of Rome.
Below are some not-so accessible Rome places you might want to either skip, or visit with a tour company that specializes in tours of these areas.
The Palatine Hill is pretty difficult to manage in a wheelchair.
Below you can see the sign for a ramp for wheelchairs. But most of the rest of Palatine Hill is made up of stairs, and bumpy dirt and stone roads, with lots of broken tiles.
There are a few places with ramps, but to see the best the Palatine Hill has to offer if you are in a wheelchair, you will need to be a little adventurous and intrepid.
However, I discovered this company called Rome and Italy Tours.
They have developed this amazing portable chair, which they call a "Wheely Trekky", and they can take you to the Palatine Hill and other similar less accessible Rome sites (see below for my suggestions for tour companies that specialize in accessible tours).
On one hand, it may seem that visiting the Trevi Fountain in a wheelchair is not that difficult. On the other, you have two factors that do in fact make it a bit hard to manage.
The first is the small space that the Trevi Fountain is in.
The fountain seems outsized compared to the minimal space available for people to gather to look at the fountain.
And this means it's almost always crowded (except in the dead of winter, or between the hours of 2am-6am).
And the crowds definitely make it a pain to try to jostle for a spot in a wheelchair.
The second factor making it hard to see the Trevi Fountain is the stairs.
It doesn't mean you cannot see the Trevi Fountain in a wheelchair. This just means that you may not be able to get down and close to the basin.
My suggestion is to try to come early in the morning, or in low season, when there are fewer people.
Most of a visit to Castel Sant'Angelo involves walking up and around the building itself.
There is an elevator to take visitors to the top, but you miss most of the best of what the museum has to offer.
It's possible to visit this monument in a wheelchair, but your options will be unfortunately limited.
But if you want a more hands-on approach, and a tour specifically tailored to your disability, I have found that it's best to go through an agency that specializes in these types of tours.
Here are a few agencies that offer dedicated accessible tours in Rome:
Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!
*I am not affiliated with any of these companies but I know they provide reliable wheelchair rentals in Rome.
One of the suggestions I read about was to make sure you have a Freewheel wheelchair accessory.
It makes getting around in a wheelchair much easier, which, in Rome, is a big plus.
More and more Rome hotels have facilities for people with disabilities.
Many medium-sized and larger hotels not only have rooms that cater to people with disabilities, even in historic areas like around the Trevi Fountain, but also whole common areas of the hotel such as wide elevators, ramps, and restroom facilities in the lobby or restaurant.
John Sage Travel has done a lot of research on the best wheelchair accessible hotels in Rome. You can visit his page here.
You can also use the below search engine for Booking.com.
Start with your dates and once it takes you to the Booking.com booking site, you can go a little down the left-hand menu until you get to "Accessibility Features", and fine-tune the search from there.
As mentioned at the top of this page, Rome's sidewalks can be difficult to navigate, even on foot.
We have a lot of cobblestones and often, they are broken and sticking up.
We do have some ramps on some sidewalks, but it's not consistent, and, often, these are blocked by illegally parked cars.
If you are not in a wheelchair but use a walker, your best bet is to try to avoid the cobblestone streets in Rome's historic center.
When it's not possible to avoid these areas, go slowly and take care because the cobblestones can be really uneven and even broken.
The easiest outdoor areas to get around in a wheelchair are the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, via dei Fori Imperiali, Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, Vatican Square, and Piazza del Popolo.
These all have relatively smooth pavements, sidewalks and/or streets.
To find out which Rome metro stops have facilities for the disabled, visit this page published by the city of Rome.
The Rome public transportation system does not yet have this info in English.
But I can tell you that the following lines have facilities for the disabled:
H, 81, 85, 90, 170, 490, 44, 46, 60, 360, 80, 590, 87, 660, 671, 664, 558, 650, 20, 786, 781, 990.
There are several taxi cooperatives that you can call.
The biggest one, 06 3570, has a large fleet of cars and vans outfitted for people with disabilities.
I also read on this website that she used regular taxis, and simply folded up the wheelchair and placed it in the trunk.
She said all the cab drivers she dealt with were very friendly and accommodating.
All of the accessible Rome tour sites I linked to above also offer transportation in vans equipped specifically for people in wheelchairs.
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