To the Boot with a broken foot?

Well, as luck would have it the wife broke her foot the other day - one week before we leave for our 3 week trip to London, Paris and Italy. She's in a cast and on crutches, which is going to severely limit if not totally eliminate some of the things we wanted to do. We're now in a bit of a scramble to find things that are more "handicap friendly". In Italy we'll be in Siena/Florence and Verona/Venice. So my questions are this: 1) Can anyone suggest activities/sites/etc. that don't require walking and/or standing for long periods of time? A tour, a class, or event where we can sit, perhaps? I know that's kind of vague, but even we're not sure what we're looking for. 2) Does anyone know which, if any, of the major sites (i.e. The Accademia, Uffizi, etc.) provide wheelchairs or other handicap services that might make it easier for my wife to get around? Any kind of help or suggestion would be very greatly appreciated! P.S. We're now calling this trip "Europe on Three Legs a Day", or "There and Back again: A Hobbled's Tale". We can't decide which. :-)

Posted by Jodi
Mountain House
56 posts

So sorry to hear this! I myself broke my ankle last year on our first night in Italy and spent the next 10 days touring in a wheelchair. By any chance, can you guys borrow or buy a (cheap) wheelchair and take it with you? It will make travel much easier, and you'll get through most security, customs and attraction lines much faster. As a bonus that I appreciated most attractions let me in for free. That was very helpful as my mishap cost us an unbudgeted $1000. There's no way I could have personally done all of the sightseeing we did while crutches, but I am also not fit. I didn't notice if most sights had wheelchairs to loan though. Florence is a little tough as the streets and sidewalks are difficult. It was annoying in a wheelchair and again, I think crutches would have been worse. Venice was easier if you were on the actual streets. The bridges were a bit tough, but I was able to get over them with a cane so crutches should be doable.
While in Venice we attended Musica a Palazzo (mini opera) and a Vivaldi concert in San Vidal which were both welcome sit down events. Good luck! It's great that you're keeping a positive attitude as that's half the battle. My daughter and I joked our whole way through it.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
4765 posts

Keep your sense of humor! Most major museums have wheelchairs available but you might want to check their individual websites to make sure, and to reserve one if necessary. I see lots of people with foot/ankle casts, crutches, wheelchairs in Italy - there may be some things you can't do. but there will be plenty left. Train stations can help you board/deboard, and many museums and major train stations have elevators. Have a great trip!

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2900 posts

I have been to Europe twice in casts. Once a broken wrist, but once an ankle. I had a walking cast and no crutches so can't give much info on wheelchair issues...but one thing... on the plane be sure that she keeps her foot elevated as much as possible to avoid swelling. Got upgraded by taking a bump on the way over, so no problem...but on the way home I guess I overdid it and had lots of swelling... I guess altitude change or something. But, I did not want to change either trip and glad I didn't.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6888 posts

Max, as I travel, I continually point out to my wife the lack of handicap access on the streets and in buildings. IMHO, the U.S. and Italy are on different planets when it comes to handicap access and accomodations. I seem to recall that the toilets in the Ufizzi were midway down a flight of stairs. There may be others in the building. Also, you may run into squat public toilets. We have occasionally encountered them.