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Jun 7, 2013 08:46 AM

Scooter accessible restaurants in Rome and Milan?

So bravely we set off, my hubby on a business trip, me riding along on my motorized scooter. We are staying near the Termini at the Ariston Hotel for about 10 days in Rome, and then 5 days in Milan at the Grand Hotel Milano Villa Torretta. I travel by scooter, but I am able to get off so long as there is a safe place to store the scooter.

In terms of food, we'll try anything that won't bite us first. But love simple, local, filling food. We don't need to eat and very expensive places, but if it something really special or unique, do let us know. We are interested in sampling foods from all regions of Italy.

I would also love suggestions for good markets I can get to myself. I understand that the metro is not really an option as all stations are not accessible, so I will have to either ride my scooter or take a cab.

Grazi in advance for your help.

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  1. I hope that some of the Rome participants or those more familiar with Milan can answer, but having in former years pushed strollers, and more recently pulled rolling bags, I dont have the feeling that Rome is terribly accessible to the type of vehicle I think you have, with curb cuts etc. many of the streets, sidewalks and piazzas are laid with stone, and wheeled vehicles other than strollers are mostly in the street (where you will not want to be). Even in pedestrianized areas, there will not always be flat surfaces for you to roll on Im wondering have you looked at the specialized guides which address these issues for Europe? Im would certainly be happy to be shown to be too pessimistic! As far as storage is concerned, people in these cities park bikes and motorcycles on the street - it wil really depend on the restaurant whether they would have storage space inside - many are cramped and would not, it seems to me.

    Having attempted restaurants in NY with a friend who needed a wheel chair for any amount of distance, I am sympathetic with your concerns.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      Basically there are a few travel agencies that "specialize" in travel for people with physical challenges. Pretty universally they just want to sell you very expensive personalized tours and don't have a lot to say about good restaurants.

      1. re: jen kalb

        by "specialized guides" I meant there are travel resources geared to folk with mobility issues.
        Here is a link to one spot I found.

        there is a ton of info on this site about good restaurants in Rome. At a minimum you should be able to visit any number of these by taxi if not in your scooter. Trattoria Monti is not far from Termini, for example, and it is excellent.

      2. So sorry, but what do you mean by motorized scooter?

        1 Reply
        1. re: minchilli

          If you follow this link you will see a picture of the type of motorized scooter that I use. http://allmedical-equipment.clickforw...

        2. So given that handicap accessible restaurants in Italy is an impossible dream, do you have suggestions for good restaurants within walking distance of our hotels in Milan and Rome?

          4 Replies
          1. re: mrsphud


            Mary Hanson uses what I think is the same thing. She is an indefatigable Italian traveler/sojourner and has written up her experiences and advice.

            1. re: mbfant


              It occured to me later in the day to add to mbfant's remarks to say that author of that guide to accessible Rome regularly posts on the Slow Travel forum for Italy under the screen name "Rome Addict", and she frequently posts about restaurants in Italy, so you might want to engage with her online on that board to get tips.

            2. re: mrsphud

              see my response to you above (or below!)

              I'll also add here that your hotel in Milano is outside the area where I have been, and outside the area where normally guidebooks focus. That isn't necessarily a bad thing when it comes to the quality of restaurants -- often the better ones are outside the most popular visitor zones -- but it does make it harder to amass recommendations. Have you asked your hotel if it is possible for them to help you arrange for handicapped van service in Milan that can take you and your scooter to places beyond walking distance of your hotel?

            3. hi, mrsphud,

              You might find this link for Milan has some useful info even though it is geared to wheelchair users:


              I'm also replying to this part of your post:

              "We don't need to eat and very expensive places, but if it something really special or unique, do let us know. We are interested in sampling foods from all regions of Italy."

              I suggest you focus both on recommended places with street level outdoor seating (of which there are many in Rome) and also on shops with famed take out foods like suppli al telefono, pizza al taglio, the cheeses of Beppi in Rome, the pastries and panini of Milan, and the coffees and gelati. You can find many specific recommendations online and even on Chowhound for this sort of food tourism.

              There are a great many easy one-of-a-kind treats to enjoy as a traveler in Italy without entering a restaurant. But when you do need a full restaurant meal, if you pick a place with outdoor seating, you can find places to temporarily stow your scooter where you can keep an eye on it.

              If you are good at internet research you can probably come up with a sufficiently long list of oft-recommended restaurants with outdoor seating in Rome and special treats in Milan (don't overlook swank bars with outdoor seating that serve up huge buffets at the aperitivo hour in Milan in the Brera part of Milan). If you aren't getting anywhere in your research, you might want to ask again here by starting a new thread asking specifically for recommendations for eateries with outdoor street level tables (no super hill climbs) or for high-quality shops featuring unique take-away specialty bites, and bars coffees and drinks that are unique to Rome and Milan.