The coolest thing happened the other day…
We were walking around town and we saw this:
You can believe you’re eyes. Yes that is a giant ramp that is wide, stable and at a decent incline. Those are three adjectives that don’t go with “ramp” in the same sentence when you are in Italy.
I had to stop.
The nice owner showed me around and told me that that ramp isn’t, in fact, just for looks; the lobby/restaurant is accessible. I wasn’t prepared for what he said next: “And we have two accessible rooms. Would you like to see?”
Why yes! Yes I would!
We walk through this immaculate lobby with shiny marble floors and open the 90cm door (about 35.5 inches) and see this. A nice big bed with plenty of space to move around the room, the mattress is a decent height and large enough that you won’t fall off the bed.
I was already impressed but I had to ask the dreaded question What about the bathroom?
Fearing the worst, I see this architectural miracle that us Americans simply refer to as a handicap bathroom. It had a nice large entrance, a shower whose walls pull away so it is actually a roll-in shower.
In short, this hotel completely blew my mind. I’ve been in Italy and Sicily before, so I was surprised to see that this hotel was so far beyond my expectations. But it really seems like people here are trying to incorporate accessibility in their plans! It’s no longer strange that a hotel has these sort of ammenities (did I mention that the lobby has an accessible bathroom, in case guests need to use one after checkout?). This is becoming the norm.
New hotels are actually required to have 2 accessible rooms if there are 10 rooms total. Each additional 10 rooms requires 1 more accessible room. So it’s moved beyond compassionate owners and business savvy entrepreneurs…its law!
As I’m sure you’ve picked up, I was very shocked to see the strides businesses are making to increase their accessibility. But I have to correct my misconceptions: now these sort of considerations are something I’ll have to start expecting from Italy. If this small town in Sicily can do it–I think we should hold the rest of Italy to at least the same standard.
This is encouraging news people! I hope you’re as excited about this as I am!
The hotel featured in this post is:
Alaba Hotel – http://www.alabahotel.com
San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily