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Accessible Rome - Tiber River Boats
Accessible Rome: Getting around Rome in a wheelchair, for the disabled traveler. Read Wheelchair Travel for some basic information.
In the past year the boats have returned to the Tiber. Because it is one of the most polluted rivers in the world, as part of the "admission price" to the European Union, the Italian government had to clean up the Tiber. It is still muddy and I wouldn't go swimming, but it no longer smells of sewage.
The boats depart from the Trastevere side of the Isola Tiberina up the river and return in about an hour. The cost is one euro each way. The boats are NOT accessible despite the website's insistence. The only way you can access the river is down the stairs at the Tiberina stop. These stairs are like the Michaelangelo stairs at the Campodoglio. Each stair is wide, slopes up and has the vertical rise. At the Campodoglio the vertical risers are two to three inches. At the Tiberina station the risers are six to eight inches high.
If you have a really good driver who knows Rome like the back of his hand there may be a way that you can drive along the road that is right on the Tiber. I've never been able to find that access. If you could access it, you could have a taxi drop you off at the boat entrance.
Note: This is the sad thing about the whole Tiber River Boats attraction. The boats themselves are accessible. There are ramps onto and off the boats. It's just getting down to the Tiber itself that is tricky. A friend of mine who owns a car service says there is a way from Testaccio down to the Tiber. I'll spend some time with him outlining that on the map on our next trip (March 2006). You can take the boats as a tourist attraction and go up and down the Tiber. You could not use them as a means of transport (which is what some Romans are doing).
Other Tourist Boat Rides
There are other tourist board rides: a tourist boat that has a taped narration, a dinner boat, and a boat that will take you down to Ostia Antica, water level permitting. The prices vary from seven euro to 50 (including the meal).
These boats leave from near the Ponte Sisto and the stair situation here is even worse than at Tiberina.
Again there is a road that is at water level but again I have been unable to determine how to access this road. If you could access it, you could have a taxi drop you off at the boat entrance.
Slow Travel Photos - Accessible Rome: Photo essay to go with these pages.
www.battellidiroma.it: River boats of Rome.
© Mary Murphy-Hanson, 2005
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