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Rome with physical limitations (not wheelchair bound)

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Raleigh, North...
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Rome with physical limitations (not wheelchair bound)

My husband and I (Americans, ages 70 and 57) are spending 5 days in Rome prior to a cruise. We have never been to Rome, and have booked up a B&B in the Trastevere neighborhood. We prefer to stay in less touristy areas, and this one has a tram stop directly in front of the B&B, making public transport easy for us.

Our dates our Jan 3-8, which I now realize includes a holiday. The bigger problem for us is that neither of us can manage stairs well (knee problems for both, I'm afraid) and my husband can only walk shorter distances and cannot stand for long periods of time.

I am trying to figure out what we can easily see and do while we are in Rome. The Vatican will be no problem, I think, as they will lend us a wheelchair.

But the rest of it is giving me pause. And (I know it sounds blasphemous) but we both get bored with museums, churches and historic sites that barely have walls anymore. We feel no need to see every single attraction listed in the tour guides. When we travel, we typically spend time in local cafe's, street markets, arboretums, and unusual sites (for example, the Capuchini Bone Chapel sound fascinating). We like to see some of the sites, but enjoy more of the 'tasting and feeling' of the area (in fact, we mostly avoid traveling to BIG cities anymore, preferring smaller cities or towns). A day trip out of Rome is certainly something we would consider.

So, thinking about our interests and physical limitations, I am hoping someone can make some suggestions. Thank you in advance.

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Rome with physical limitations (not wheelchair bound)

See about the small "electric buses" in Rome, #116, #117 and also #125 in Trastavere. They are able to ply the smaller streets of the historic center and are quite fun. Not only can you use them to ride and look, you can get off, visit an area, then take another one. They have circular routes. If you do a search on this forum with "electric buses #116 and #117" you can find posts with more information.

Portland, OR
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2. Re: Rome with physical limitations (not wheelchair bound)

So you don't like museums, churches or ancient sites, and you have difficulty with stairs, walking or standing very long.

It is difficult to imagine why you chose to visit Rome. With those limitations I am having difficulty thinking of suggestions for you, other than sitting in a cafe and watching the world go by.

Portland, OR
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for Positano
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3. Re: Rome with physical limitations (not wheelchair bound)

This will have some good suggestions for you:

slowtrav.com/italy/accessible/rome/index.htm

Raleigh, North...
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4. Re: Rome with physical limitations (not wheelchair bound)

Engred, perhaps as you age and your bones begin to ache, you will find it not so easy to navigate stairs and cobblestone streets. More importantly, I hope you learn that the joy of traveling is not limited to running from famous site to equally famous ancient ruins. We have traveled extensively and seen more than our share of ancient ruins, churches, Buddha's, temples, museums, statues, etc.

We "chose" Rome because that is where our cruise begins and ends. Last minute booking required last minute airfare, and that ended up with us staying in Rome for 5 days. You're correct - it is NOT an ideal city for us to visit. Nevertheless, we are there and we will find ways to enjoy ourselves. Hopefully others in this great forum will be more helpful.

Edited to add: Thank you for the link. That was helpful, indeed.

Edited: 26 December 2013, 21:51
Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Rome with physical limitations (not wheelchair bound)

Those little buses will shake the fillings from your teeth as they roll over the cobblelestones, but they can be useful.

There is a lovely market each day except Sunday in Campo de Fiori and good places around the campo to sit and watch the world go by with a wine or coffee.

Perhaps choose one museum such as the Capitoline, nearby the Vittorio Emmanuele monument which can be accessed by elevator for excellent views of Rome.

I personally love Piazza del Popolo. It was my "first" piazza in Rome and my first experience of an unassuming church stuffed full of art treasures. Read up on it as it really is worth a visit, then you can admire the piazza and maybe have a drink in the very fashionable Corso. Metro travel is available to here.

Absolutely see the Pantheon, my favourite of all buildings in the world so far. I could sit in the square and just look at it for hours. But for your ease arrive when it opens and there are few people. Then you can admire the huge size and the amazing dome with its occulus. Later there are jostling crowds and the effect is lost.

…blogspot.com.au/2009/09/into-rome-and-final…

6. Re: Rome with physical limitations (not wheelchair bound)

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