Our situation is as follows. We are a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children), our daughter is 10 and is highly wheelchair dependent. We are able to pick her up and carry her up steps or stairs. She uses a manual wheelchair which we push, she is not strong enough to self propel.
We had decided that Rome was a place we should see as a family and that having a wheelchair should not stop us.
Our trip used British Airways, Romecabs, Albergo Santa Chiara.
British Airways; Not great on the way out, had to work hard to persuade them to take the folded wheelchair in the plane cabin. We did not want it in the hold; too high a risk of damage or loss. Allowed to board first for access, cabin staff watched us struggle rather than offer help. Similar negotiations on the return leg but had the most helpful senior flight attendant ( Thanks Tori) what a different experience thanks to one thoughtful person. (Maybe a lesson for all of us)
Romecabs, already highly recommended on TA forums and we were not disappointed. Enquired and booked by email, very prompt and clear reply. Minivan waiting on arrival, driver Marco was very safe, knowledgeable and attentive. Price was 55 Euros Fiumicino to hotel.
Albergo Santa Chiara, have posted review on the Hotels section.
Rome in a wheelchair....
We knew what it was going to be like, lots of cobbled streets, steps etc and lots of walking/rolling. We booked the hotel as it was very central and we could then get around without using transport. We were pleasantly surprised that all the things we wanted to see were much closer together than we had anticipated . Cannot comment on buses, trams or trains.
St Peters, a few steps up to security, then lift (elevator for our North American cousins)up to main areas.
Vatican Museums, easy entrance and attentive staff but more complicated inside. Had to hunt down a lift/elevator to get us to the Sistine Chapel, staff happy to help once you had asked but not very proactive. Lots of very busy places especially the chapel. We arrived at about 1pm, no queue straight in, two minutes wait for security, two mins for tickets.
Pantheon, dead easy - ramp up into building and all flat inside.
Spanish Steps, good to look at from the Piazza below.
Colosseum, much easier than we had thought. Flat entrance and some ramps inside and around the bottom level. Big easy lift inside to get up to higher level.
If you are a wheelchair user I hope this report helps, don't forget we are able to carry our daughter separate from the 'chair when needs must. If you self propel Rome could be hard work; cobbled streets, often uneven surfaces, shops and restaurants with steps up to get in, potential problems with transport. We did not see many other people with wheelchairs.
The Romans did not build Rome with us in mind!
But as many people have said it's all about an attitude of mind. Is it worth putting up with the difficult parts to experience the good stuff.
Did we enjoy seeing Rome? Absolutely.
Would we recommend it even in a wheelchair? Absolutely - but do your research first.
I will try to answer questions as best I can if you leave posts. Thanks to all those who left us information when we started planning the trip.
Best wishes, Bob and Family.