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Thread: Traveling with teen in a wheelchair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    4

    Default Traveling with teen in a wheelchair

    Hello - We have a 16-year old daughter with limited mobility who is medically fragile. She will be in her wheelchair anytime we are out and about in Florence (she can walk short distances so restaurants are okay). My questions is about visiting museums. I want to get a reservation for enjoying the Uffizi and Academia so we can avoid the lines as much as possible (she ends up having a view of everyone's butt). The problem is her health can change quickly and I don't want to be locked into a purchased ticket for a day we can't go. Can we buy tickets once we arrive to use later in our trip? Do I buy tickets for all 3 od us or will one of us go in as her assistant? We arrive on 4/1 and depart on 4/8. Any other tips for getting around in a wheelchair in Florence would be appreciated too! Lisa

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Florence, Italy
    Posts
    2,812

    Default

    Ciao Lisa,

    Most museums allow free entrance for the disabled/handicapped along with 1 accompanying person.
    You also receive priority access which means you don't need to stand in line and wait for your turn, just head to the top of the line and ask for entrance. Having an extra parent is not a problem, just that one of the adults will have to pay for their ticket -- but you don't need to reserve that one ticket ahead of time as it will defeat the purpose of encouraging disabled visitors to visit museums. So don't book any tickets, just head to the top of the line and ask for entrance and follow their indications about stopping by the ticket counter and picking up tickets (you'll both need one too that is marked "gratis")

    Do you already have a place booked for your stay? I suggest getting something very central (between Duomo/Via Tornabuoni/Arno river/Santa Croce area) so that not only distances are shorter but also you have the convenience of heading back there any time you need to rest, it seems like that will be important. You'll also need an elevator - take a look at Al Duomo B&B: http://www.florenceaccommodation.com...o-firenze.html
    I seem to remember they do have an elevator, but you should contact any places before booking to be 100% sure that they do.

    Have you already read this as well? http://www.visitflorence.com/moving-...isability.html

    Luckily, many streets in Florence have been redone and pavement has been smoothed out so it is easier than before. Do you have an electric wheelchair?

    Post any other questions you might have!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    4

    Default Thank you!

    Lourdes -
    Thank you so much! The link you sent is one looked at when I started planning this trip. Also, we have an apartment booked on via Giuseppe right by Santa Croce. There are 4 steps into the building (which manageable) and then a lift to the floor our apartment is on.
    We are thinking of trying to see some of the Uffizi on Sunday 3 April when admission is free, just so we don't have to try to get all in one shot. Of course this will depend on the crowds. We will return on Monday or Tuesday to see more.
    Here is another question. We have heard we should not ask to have an unfinished portion of meal wrapped to take with us. Is this really a big faux paux? We often depend on meal extras for my daughter's metabolic needs as she must eat often.

    Thank you again!
    Lisa

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Florence, Italy
    Posts
    2,812

    Default

    Sounds like you have a great itinerary already planned. Yes, you can head to the Uffizi on that Sunday and take a look at the crowds - heading to the top of the line to ask about cutting the line if possible. It might still be too crowded for you to enjoy inside, but you could always go back on Tuesday (museum is closed on Mondays).

    As for the "doggy" bags -- go right ahead and ask for them!! While it used to be it was frowned upon to ask, more restaurants have adapted to the request from visitors and have boxes on hand now to pack away extra food. In addition, everyone has always been kind and understanding when it is obvious you have special needs and understand you might need the food for later.
    Happens even with small children, when they decide to not eat at all -- and I've always found that in one way or another they will accommodate my request to take the unfinished food my toddler decided she didn't want then home.
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