Earlier this week, we went to one of the bigger cities in Sicily: Trapani.
We wandered the streets for a while and I began to see the accommodations being made to improve accessibility.
Exhibit A: Ramp to Stairs
This option if great for people who spontaneously regain mobility.
Streets in Sicily are as crazy and perilous as they appear in movies. Traffic lights, stop signs, and laws in general don’t exist. Streets are so narrow that cars nearly hit on these two-lane streets. And I mean two lanes as 1 lane going one direction and the other lane about a centimeter from a head-on collision with a car from lane 1. There are a couple crosswalks that are simply painted lines across a busy street and they serve only as decoration. Drivers don’t stop for pedestrians; you’re lucky if they swerve for pedestrians.
So maybe they think that once your power chair slowly chugs across the street that you will decide its not worth the hastle and you will casually leap out of the chair and bound up a few stairs
Exhibit B: Stair to Ramp
This door is also so narrow that while your chair is jumping, it must take a page out of the Transformers book and transform into something a little more aerodynamic.
If this option concerns you, no need. There is caution tape at the top of the ramp: it’s perfectly safe.
Piecing together this scenery, I thought You know what? If the stores aren’t accessible, at least sidewalks are accessible. And that’s nothing to laugh at! The important thing is that people are using these ramps, etc.
I saw one person use the ramp. And he was about 25 and speedily rode his motorcycle up the ramp, jumped off, and just left it there.
The point is, this area is so dangerous for pedestrians that sidewalks are literally VITAL to anyone who wants to get around. I don’t want to downplay the steps that have been made so far, but there is much left to do.
I don’t want to discourage you from coming to Sicily. There is MUCH to say about navigating the streets of Sicily, but fortunately, not all cities are built the same. As I said, Trapani is a larger city and you need to choose your travel destination wisely. For example, I’m spending the majority of this trip in a smaller city and have seen a good 5 or 10 locals on power chairs roaming the streets. I was so surprised to see them out and about and am impressed that someone must be doing something right! I hope to gather more info about how they do it! Hopefully I’ll gather a few pearls of wisdom along the way.