Going to Rome. Guide to accessible city - Graphofeel - ebook

Going to Rome is a guide to the Eternal City designed for tourists with special needs. User-friendly, it includes churches, monuments, museums but also restaurants, hotels, and coffee bars that are accessible to the less mobile and to individuals with sensory disabilities. Thoroughly updated, the guide also offers dedicated sections to the city’s latest cultural and artistic attractions and entertainment venues. Going to Rome is an essential tool for people with disabilities visiting Rome.

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Going to Rome is a guide to the Eternal City designed for tourists with special needs. User-friendly and entirely bilingual (all texts are in Italian and English), it includes churches, monuments, museums but also restaurants, hotels, and coffee bars that are accessible to the less mobile and to individuals with sensory disabilities. Thoroughly updated, the guide also offers dedicated sections to the city’s latest cultural and artistic attractions and entertainment venues. Going to Rome is an essential tool for people with disabilities visiting Rome.

Copyright © 2015 Graphofeel Edizioni

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.

Graphofeel Edizioni

Via Livio Andronico, 67

00136 Roma

[email protected]


All rights reserved © 2015

ISBN 978-88-97381-53-2

Based on the printed issue: 978-88-97381-51-8

Cover: Francesco Sanesi


Concept: Andrea Engl; Editorial board: Lina Di Lembo, Andrea Engl, Giulia La Face, Fiorella Magrin, Laura Pacelli, Antonio Perri, Domenico Trimarco; English translations: Patrizia Vigliotti (Preface), Elda Zanatta (How to get to Rome, Getting around in Rome); eBook designer: Giovanni Caprioli.

Any tourist guide is an open-ended book. If you find mistakes or inaccuracies, but also if you like to make us suggestions or remarks, please write at:[email protected]

Going to Rome

A guide to the accessible city

Table of Contents


Going to Rome by train


The Blue Hall (Sala Blu)

Services for travellers in wheelchairs


Going to Rome by plane

Fiumicino Airport

Departures, transits and arrivals

Tactile routes and maps

Special services

Ciampino Airport

Tactile maps and patways

Going to Rome by car

Getting around in the city

Private cars

Public transport: buses and metro

Surface public transport on rail: metropolitan railways



Historical notes about Rome

St. Peter’s Cathedral

Vatican Museums


Trajan’s Markets and Forums Museum

Palatine Hill

Roman Forum

Balbi Crypt

Altar of the Fatherland

Capitol Square

Capitoline Museums

Mouth of Truth

Great Synagogue and Jewish Museum

Marcellus Theater

Tiberina Island

Palazzo Altemps

Palazzo Braschi (Museum of Rome)

Spada Gallery

Palazzo Madama


Piazza Navona

Campo de’ Fiori Square

Pasquino’s Square

Palazzo Barberini

Palazzo del Quirinale

Scuderie del Quirinale

Palazzo Chigi

Palazzo Montecitorio

Trevi Fountain

Ara Pacis’ Museum

Church of Santa Maria in Montesanto

Piazza del Popolo

Trinità dei Monti

Piazza di Spagna

Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore

Baths of Diocletian

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

Rome Opera House

Palazzo delle Esposizioni

Cathedral of San Pietro in Vincoli

Borghese Gallery

National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art

Villa Giulia National Etruscan Museum

MAXXI. Museum of the 21st Century Arts

Bio Park

Explora Children’s Museum

Macro Via Nizza

Music Park Auditorium

Cathedral of Santa Maria in Trastevere

Corsini Gallery

Villa Farnesina

Porta Portese Flea Market

Janiculum hill

Fontanone dell’Acqua Paola

Orange Tree Garden

Cathedral of Santa Sabina

Cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano

Holy Stairs and Sancta Sanctorum

Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem

Macro La Pelanda

Cathedral of San Paolo fuori le Mura

Pyramid of Cestius

National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography “Pigorini”

Museum of Arts and Folk Traditions

Cinecittà Studios

Where to eat


Fast Food

Where to stay


Bed & Breakfast

Cinemas with facilities


Useful telephone numbers


Going to Rome is a short and compact guide to the Eternal City designed for tourists with special needs. The volume is written in two languages, Italian and English, and the information provided is updated to November 2015. Further revisions and amendments will be made available on a section of the Publisher’s website: www.graphofeel.com

Far from being an exhaustive guide to the countless treasures and masterpieces of Roman art and architecture, the book will only include those sites that are accessible to persons with motor and sensorial impairments, as well as useful information to help them plan their visit.

The guide is divided into three sections. Section one gives general information about the city and the public transportation network; section two provides a short and essential description of tourist sites, that are divided into zones and itineraries suitable for impaired tourists. Section three includes a range of hotels, restaurants and coffee shops accessible to individuals with motor impairments.

The idea behind this guide was to make the city of Rome and its fascinating attractions accessible to everyone.

Rome nowadays is a multiracial and multilingual European capital with more than 3 million inhabitants. The historical centre and the huge suburban areas are connected by an intricate maze of streets and roads. Originally built on seven separate hills, Rome’s city centre is paved with small cubes of porphiry (the so-called sampietrini) that make the path of people in wheelchair extremely rough. Therefore, visitors with mobility problems may find it difficult to access the Eternal City’s cultural and artistic attractions. Besides, visitors and tourists on short trips have to make tough decisions about where to go and what to see, knowing that they will have to move throughout a complicated network of narrow streets and busy roads. However, Rome in constantly improving its accessibility provisions: sidewalks are often equipped with slipways and special paths for blind people are available in central areas. The main museums and some monuments provide further facilities for impaired people: free entrance, wheelchairs specifically designed for the visit, dedicated guides using sign language for the hearing impaired or deaf people and audioguides for the visual impaired and blind people.

Finally, we have heard in a recent news that within December 8th, with the beginning of Jubilee year, at the 10 Roman PIT (Touris Information Points) will appear for the first time the tablets of E.lisir system: this new device will provide deaf tourists with information in LIS (Italian Sign Language), thanks to a virtual assistant video-connected through the web who will answer the questions of the user.

Enjoy your trip!


Going to Rome by train

The main central station in Rome is Termini Station, which is located in the center of the city, well connected to the most famous tourist attractions. It has been recently renewed to meet the requests and needs of its variegated public with special attention to disabled people or people in needs. Its reception point for disabled people, called Sala Blu (Blue Hall) provides assistance, on request, both in the station of departure and the station of arrival. To obtain assistance and support, call 06 488 17 26. Deaf people can use DTS (Deaf telephone device) at 06 473 062 45 and find there any kind of visual information to help them. General information on train services and timetable can be found at the official website of Ferrovie dello Stato and/or at the website of Stazione Termini.

In Rome there is another train station: Roma Tiburtina. Roma Tiburtina is the second largest railway station in Rome. Located in the north-eastern part of the city, it is currently being re-developed as a hub for the Italian high-speed rail services instead of Termini. The Tiburtina station is connected to the center and to Termini Station through the line B of the metro. Despite its recent renewal, however, Tiburtina Station as a whole is not comfortable nor it is easily accessible for people with disabilities; we therefore suggest to make use of Termini Station whenever possible. In Italy there are two national companies for traveling by train, Trenitalia and Italo. Both companies provide high-speed rail services along the main high-speed national lines, while Trenitalia (owned by the State) supplies also ordinary trains throughout the country.


Trenitalia offers a free reserved card (the Carta Blu, Blue Card) for disabled persons entitled to mobility or communication allowance. This card lets the holder buy a single ticket, which is valid for the holder and his/her accompanying adult, according to the law 26.5.1970 n. 381. However, when using trains Eurostar Italia, Eurostar City Italia, wagon lits or couchette services, one ticket is issued, valid for two persons, the amount of which is equal to the price of the service requested plus a service change at full price. When on board, you must show the Blue Card and a valid ID document of the card holder. If you start your journey without a ticket, you will be asked to pay full price with no discount or benefit.

Blue Card can be obtained at the Blue Hall point (see below), or at the ticket office inside the main hall; it must be renewed every five years. If the disability certified has a validity period shorter than five years, the Blue Card will last for the period mentioned in the certification anyhow no longer than five years. “P” (permanent disability declared) Blue Card renewal: you can renew your “P” Blue Card without any further documentation for the accompanying allowance.

The Blue Card is valid only on national railways and cannot be combined with other discounts or benefits, except for young people and for voters.

On International Rail Trains, if you are sight-impaired or disabled with regular certifications for travelling on National Rail, you can ask for a reduced fare “Disabled” and “Disabled Companion”. However, on the “Artesia Night Train” and on the “Salvador Dalì Trenhotel” the reduced fare is allowed only for the accompanying person.

There exist a special concession only for sight-impaired travellers, called Special Concession III. You can use this journey Concession if you are sight impaired and hold a mod. 28/C (valid 5 years). You must also have a dedicated application form for isolated journeys of your accompanying adult.

The Special Concession III allows 20% off the ordinary fare for isolated journeys. Added to this is the service change at full price when travelling on IC, ICN, ES*,ES* City, AV or by couchette or WL services. If the holder travels with the accompanying adult, the Concession allows him to have a ticket for the train used valid for two people. When travelling by ES*, ES*City, AV or by couchette or WL, one ticket is issued, also valid for two persons, which amounts to the price of the service requested plus a service change for IC/ES*/ES*City/AV/Tbiz and a service change from couchette to WL.

The Blue Hall (Sala Blu)

The Sala Blu (Blue Hall) is the reference point Trenitalia offers to disabled customers, where the assistance services are coordinated. It is available in 14 main railway stations (among them in Rome). At Termini Station the Blue Hall is located side of the first rail, near via Marsala entrance, and it offers the following services to wheelchairs users and motor impaired people, blind or visually impaired people, deaf or auditory impaired people, old people in general and pregnant women:

information;seat bookings;wheelchair bound customer assistance;wheelchair bound customer escort to the chosen train;assistance for connecting services;ramps for wheelchairs;hand luggage service assistance free of charge (on request);delivering of information leaflets.

The Blue Hall opens every day 6.45-21.30; to obtain assistance, disabled customers can:

get in touch straight with the Blue Hall;call RFI (Rete Ferroviaria Italiana), at the National Telephone Number 199 30 30 60 (both with landline and mobile phone). Unfortunately, this is a pay service: the cost for a call from landline is 6,22 euro cents for connection charge, plus 2,68 euro cents per minute (VAT included). Mobile fares vary according to the companies;get in touch with Trenitalia Call Centre, tel. 199 89 20 21 option 7 or 06 3000 for users not enabled to call 199.

The 199 30 30 60 unique number has to be contacted:

at least one hour before departure between 08.00-22.00;at least 12 hours before departure for connecting service;at least 24 hours before departure for international journeys and connecting service. In this case your request can be addressed straight to the Blue Room of the main train station chosen abroad, or through the Blue Room in Roma Termini Station (where e-mail service is available at [email protected], tel. 06 488 17 26 from Monday to Friday 07.00-21.00).

The service to customers is guaranteed by arrangement with the Blue Room (Sala Blu). Customers must arrive 30 minutes before the train departure. If you need to cancel your journey, you are asked to inform the Blue Room at least 4 hours before the time of departure.

• Services for travellers in wheelchairs

More than 260 medium- and long-distance trains (Intercity, Eurocity, Eurostar Italia − ETR 460, 480 and 500 – have been equipped with a carriage where 2 wheelchairs and accompanying adults can be located. Those carriage are shown by a special international symbol placed outside.

Wheelchair location is guaranteed, if available:

by contacting the Sala Blu (Blue Hall)by calling the RFI (Rete Ferroviaria Italiana) National Telephone Number 199 30 30 60by contacting Trenitalia’s Call Centre tel. 199 89 20 21 option 7 or 06 3000 for users not enabled to call 199.