Venice is uniquely beautiful. This magical city is famous the world over for its canals and historic bridges. And yet these attractions are also what put many people off visiting with their mobility scooter. To many visitors with mobility issues, Venice might seem like too much of a challenge.
We think that is a real shame, as you are missing out on one of the world’s most fascinating getaways. Despite what you might think, Venice is surprisingly accessible. Over half the city is accessible without having to cross any of the bridges.
The even better news is that Venice also has no cobbles at all. The streets are paved, and of course, they are almost all completely pedestrianized. And many of the key sights are accessible to all.
So, with that in mind, here is Quingo Scooters’ guide to an accessible getaway in this wonderful city.
Gaze in awe at St. Mark’s Basilica
You will have no problem spotting St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. It’s the big, beautiful building with the long queue outside it, snaking onto St. Mark’s Square. But don’t let that put you off. As a mobility scooter user, you can skip the queue. There is a specially adapted accessible entrance on the left side of the church.
And you’ll certainly be glad you made the effort to see this architectural wonder. St. Mark’s is popular, and with good reason. The Basilica is stunning: full of exotic treasures and breathtakingly colourful mosaics. The Basilica itself is fully accessible inside, as is the Treasury via the ramped Porta dei Fiori. You can also access the Museum using either the lift or the stair lifts.
Visit the Doge’s Palace
The second most popular attraction in Venice, the Doge’s Palace is a must-see. It’s right next to the Basilica on St. Mark’s Square. You can access this impressive building by using the ‘exit’ close to the Basilica. And again, using this accessible entrance also means you get to dodge the long queues!
So, who was the Doge, and why did they have such a stunning palace? Well, back when Venice was a republic, the Doge (meaning ‘Duke’) was the ruler of this powerful nation. The palace acted as the administrative centre of the republic.
And as the nation grew richer, so did the building itself. Today, it’s one of Venice’s most famous buildings, and it is largely accessible. There are lifts to the upper floors, and ramps throughout.
Take to the water!
You can’t go to Venice without exploring some of the city’s many canals. When you see this unique city from the water, everything falls into place. The main way that most people get around Venice is by the vaporetto.
These water buses are the perfect way to get to different neighbourhoods. They are also generally accessible, with ramped access. The main lines down the Grand Canal do get busy however, so try to time your journey accordingly.
Of course, the truly classic Venetian experience is to take a trip on a gondola. And while many of these traditional boats aren’t accessible to those of us with mobility issues, the picture is improving.
Head down to the accessible pier close to the Piazzale Roma and you will find the excellent Gondolas4all. There is a lift from the pier and a fully accessible gondola, so that you can enjoy seeing the city in style! Find out more about them and book online here.
Explore the Campo Santa Margherita
This gorgeous square near to the San Basilio station is well worth exploring. There are plenty of things to do in this neighbourhood. Browse in the souvenir shops or pick up some local arts and crafts on Calle delle Botteghe.
The square and the surrounding area are all paved and level, and easily accessible on your mobility scooter. There are also plenty of street cafes and restaurants here where you can sit and watch the world go by. Our recommendation is the lovely Caffe Rosso, which has been around since the 1800s. Their pastries (and of course their coffee) are perfect.
Did you know?
The alder wood piles that support the city’s buildings don’t actually come from Italy. The wood originally grew in forests in Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro.
Getting to Venice
There are regular daily flights to Venice from the London airports, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol.
We always recommend that you let your airline know of any mobility requirements you might have when you book. At Venice’s Marco Polo airport itself, there is an excellent special assistance service available. Just let the team there know and they will guide you through the airport and onto the next stage of your journey. Get in touch with them here.
There are several options for getting to the city itself from the airport – including water taxi! To find out more, head to the dedicated page here. One of the easiest ways to get into the city is to use one of the accessible Alilaguna boats – find out more here.
For a great overview of the accessibility of different areas of the city, take a look at the city council’s handy official map.
Travelling with scooters
The great news for those of you travelling abroad is that Quingo Scooters are all approved for air travel by IATA so you won’t have any problems taking them on the plane. That said, it is always well worth getting in touch directly with any train, bus and airlines you want to use just to double check their rules on scooters before you go. For more handy tips on travelling with your scooter by air, take a look at our page here.
Share your accessible getaways abroad with us
Do you have any accessible getaways abroad recommendations? In Europe or perhaps further afield? If you do, we’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line and we’ll feature them.
About Quingo Scooters
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any Service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
Keep up to date with the latest mobility scooter advice, tips and interesting places to visit on the Quingo Scooter Users Blog. Connect with Quingo and keep up to date with all our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC). AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 30847