View Full Version : Rome streets
March 28th, 2009, 03:55 PM
We will be going to Rome soon and we wanted to know how bad the streets are for a wheel chair or rollator? I have both. I can walk quite well, and climb several steps. I just tire easily due to a muscle disease. We will be sailing on Princess cruise lines and probably be using their cruise tours. We find it is to late to book private tours as we sail in 3 weeks. The cost for a private tour for just the two of us in too much. We tried to book with other people on this board for private tours but you know how that is when you mention the word wheel chair and for them to see if they can make accomodations for you. They turn and you find them making excuses or not get back to you at all.
I have heard that it is a long walk to get to the Vatican. Do they let you off in the center of Rome and you walk from place to place? We know we need to pre purchase tickets for different venues and the time is close. We wish to go to the Vatican and Colosseum and other points of interest while in Rome. Any information is greatly appreciated.
March 28th, 2009, 06:45 PM
We spent three days in Rome prior to a Princess cruise in 2005. I also used a rollator then. If I had only one day in Rome what I would do is take the ship's transfer to Rome, not one of the tours. (If you think people don't want to share a private excursion you can imagine the looks you get when you "slow" the group down.) After arriving in Rome I would buy a ticket for the hop-on, hop-off bus. The bus has ear plugs which give descriptions for the various stops in different languages. The bus starts at Termini station but you can buy tickets at any of the stops. We found the coleseum easy to do as there is an elevator. The vatican museum is huge and has lots of steps. If all you want to see there is the Sistine Chapel there is a route to that that had stair lifts but you need to know you will see it with lots of people who are all looking up and may bump into you. St. Peter's is semi-accessible but you must follow the handicapped signs to the ramp. Once inside the pieta and altar are easily viewable. There were a lot of steps down to the crypts and we did not go there. I would also suggest that if you want to mail a postcard from Rome to do it at the Vatican post office. We mailed from both the Vatican and a Rome Post Office. The vatican post cards were delivered to our grandchildren before we got home. We are still waiting for those from Rome. Also, there is a small community church near the coleseum called San Pietro di vin coli where Michaelangelo's statue of Moses is available for viewing. It is just a small church with priceless artwork and no tourists. I did find walking somewhat difficult as I have lots of trouble with steps and there were very few curb cuts. Most of the time if there was a cut there was a car parked right in front of it so that didn't help me too much.
March 30th, 2009, 11:48 AM
I would not take the ships bus. We got a private tour from Romeinlimo.com that took us in a small mini-van right up to the sites that we wanted to see. I'm sure that it is not too late to book them. They even arrange for the tickets to the various sites, including the Vatican. Yes, it is more expensive but it is well worth it when you consider that the alternative is not seeing Rome at all. Also, the cost is per vehicle, not per person, so if you can find folks to share with you it actually gets cheaper than the cruise line tour.
I understand exactly what you mean when you try to share tours on the board and you mention the word "wheelchair". Suddenly, all interest just evaporates. We did get folks interested when we mentioned that the tour would be less expensive when shared and that we would be moving to the front of the lines. Those people were willing to share in the "perks" (!?) of being in the wheelchair but would be sure to be looking the other way just in case you might ask them for help at any point. Ironically, the able bodied people we shared with were the ones who kept holding us up because they were off taking pictures and not paying attention to the guide. Go figure.