Disabled Travel: Tips and Advice for Travelers with Disabilities in the Vatican
The Vatican City is accessible for those who use a wheelchair.
This article includes as many details as possible that a wheelchair user visiting the Vatican may require.
Visiting the Museums in a wheelchair
A tour of the Vatican Museums can be done in a wheelchair. In fact, one can be requested at the entrance.
We recommend booking the chair at least a day in advance since there are a limited number and it is possible that one is not available when we need it.
It can be booked through: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no charge and they only require valid identification to be shown.
Throughout the Museums, there are bathrooms adapted for wheelchair users.
People with a disability of over 74% and a companion do not need to queue and can enter for free. This can be obtained directly from the “special permission” counter. They may occasionally request proof of the disability although the mere presence of a wheelchair is often sufficient.
The Organisation has created a recommended route for disabled people.
Our experience could not be more positive. The personnel there are extremely sensitive to people’s needs and offer any help they can to make visits as comfortable as possible. Mobility problems are no reason not to visit the Museums.
Staff are available to help with lifts and around the tour. Make sure to ask for any help: it is their job!
Wheelchair users will see views that are prohibited to others. For example, access to the Sistine Chapel is done through a door which offers a magnificent view.
St Peter’s Square and Basilica
The great St Peter’s Square is open to all and is comfortable for wheelchair users.
Access to the Basilica is to the right of the colonnade when looking from the front. Here is a ramp and accessible services.
Once inside, the entire visit can be done without any problems, even to the grottoes. Where wheelchair users cannot access is the Necropolis and the upper part of the dome (the base can be accessed).
In the crowded audiences on Wednesdays in St Peter’s, there is a special space for wheelchair users and companions. You can get a ticket from your parish or through our online booking service.
They can also be obtained in person from the Office found in the west wing of the Vatican. The access area is watched by the Swiss Guard and you should indicate to them that you want “biglietti per il Papa”. The office is easily accessible.
Unfortunately, the Vatican Gardens are not accessible to people in wheelchairs. Constant slopes and difficult terrain make a visit incredibly complicated.
– Take your time. In our opinion, the best idea is not to try to see the entire Vatican in one day if you are using a wheelchair. The distances are long and there is a lot to see. We recommend visiting St Peter’s and Castel Sant’Angelo in one day, and leaving the Museums and the Sistine Chapel for another.
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