Accessible for all Florence
Dear friends, I'd like to share my exciting experience of a trip to Florence with you.
Most of the time I rolled there on my MOBILITY SCOOTER with my daughter on my knees (she was my navigator))). I don’t like package or even individual excursions. I enjoy planning my own routes, with no rush and adjusting.
We came to Florence late at night and stayed at B&B CENTRALE, about 20min. scooter ride from Florence Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station (See the Pic. below).
The hotel has a bathroom with a shower chair and a spacious lift, no hoist. They serve a great breakfast: sausages, bacon, eggs, bread, butter, jam, cheese, coffee, tea, cocoa, milk, juice, honey, fruits, etc.
PLACES AND ROUTES:
- Piazzale Michelangelo,
- Ponte Vecchio,
- Piazza Della Signoria,
- Basilica Santa Maria Del Fiore,
- Basilica di San Lorenzo.
After breakfast, we went to STAZIONE SCALETTE, opposite of the main entrance of SMN train station, (See the Pic. below) to take a city bus (with a ramp) to PIAZZALE MICHELANGELO (Michelangelo Square).
– From PIAZZALE MICHELANGELO you can see the whole Florence (including Basilica Santa Maria Del Fiore and Ponte Vecchio) from above. It's more than just a perfect opportunity to take a fantastic photo; it's a moment of wonder!
– Next, we rolled down the hill to PONTE VECCHIO (Old Bridge), an exciting and a bit scary rout (!): the hill is quite steep, but doable for a mobility scooter because it is longer than a power chair (See a safe route on the Pic. below). I’m not sure if rolling down this hill is safe for a manual or power chair.
Rolling down the hill, we smelled the fresh scent of grass, flowers and trees, enjoyed the birds' songs and a kind of traveling intimacy, with no people (only private villas) around. At the bottom of the hill, there is a residential area where Italians live, with small houses and shops, narrow streets, nice courtyards and cafes, Italian language and relaxing atmosphere.
Then, on the way to Ponte Vecchio, we scooted along the waterfront. I'm fond of river views, they are amazing! The area is very clean and comfy, with neat medieval reconstructed buildings from the one side and the river from the other side.
– Ponte Vecchio is a stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, with lots of shops. Its facade resembles a set of birdhouses)))), a really futuristic look, I would say, best enjoyed from the waterfront. Once you're inside, it turns out just one large, crowded market)))
Having crossed the bridge, we headed to PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA (Signoria Square), famous for its sculptures, including:
- the copy of the Statue of David by Michelangelo,
- Fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati,
- Hercules and Cacus, by Bandinelli,
- Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Cellini,
- Medici lions by Fancelli and Vacca, etc.
– Our next sight was BASILICA SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE designed by Arnolfo di Cambio. Being the third largest church in the world (after St. Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London), it feels very homely and soothing.
– BASILICA DI SAN LORENZO (Basilica of St Lawrence) was our last but not least destination. It is one of the largest churches in Florence and the burial place of all the principal members of the Medici family from Cosimo il Vecchio to Cosimo III.
– We went to Pisa that day. So we just rolled from the Basilica di San Lorenzo to SMN train station to get on Trenitalia train.
It was an amazing day! I wish you to enjoy this beautiful and very wheelchair-friendly city.