Navigating Venice

September 26, 2012

I had the pleasure of visiting a fascinating place that has been on my “bucket list” for as long as I can remember: Venice. It was all that I hoped it would be and more. How do you describe a city without cars, taxis, buses or  trucks? Even bicycles are absent. You walk everywhere–up one bridge and down another;  or you hop in a boat.  A city so silent at night that you wake from the lack of noise. I found the experience of Venice to be profoundly complicated. On the one hand you have the stunning art, architecture, food and visions of a city floating in the sea. On the other hand, if you have any challenge with mobility, you are faced with a difficult task getting from one place to another. I wondered how people needing assistive technology navigated this city. Wheelchairs were few and appeared to be used mostly by tourists. The option of pulling up to your front door and getting into a car is not possible. Getting into a bobbing boat from a floating dock is tricky on two legs, never mind from a wheelchair or on crutches. Canes seemed to be everywhere and baby carriages less cumbersome than chairs. So, I take my hat off to the residents, travelers and explorers who in spite of their challenges, made a complicated city part of their life experience. I hope they found it worth the effort! I know I did.

Submitted by

Chris Gallant

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