Wheelchair Accessible Exploration of Milan

This detailed analysis of wheelchair accessibility of Milan was performed in Summer 2022.

We packed five wheelchair accessible activities into one day as we explored around Milan. Our detailed analysis of wheelchair accessibility of Milan includes:

And we did it without using public transportation — which was not what we had envisioned. Instead, we walked/wheeled most of the 5 miles of the circuit. It was a fun but hot and exhausting day.

Tip: Although I cannot personally confirm because we did not use them, the Hop-On, Hop-Off buses looked to be wheelchair accessible and their website says that they are accessible. We typically avoid tour buses because we like our own hours/schedules and can often do the same routes for cheaper on public transportation. But we have had good experiences with Hop-On, Hop-Off in Waikiki, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, and they may have been the better option in Milan as well

google map view of wheelchair accessible routes
Source: Google Maps

Wheelchair Accessibility of Sidewalks

The sidewalks were hit-or-miss, largely depending on the section of town. Some had good curb cuts and were wide and smooth. Other sidewalks were narrow and were missing curb cuts–we either had to use our ramp or I took to the street for a block or two. We actually had to double back a block or two a few times to find a good sidewalk.

wheelchair view of sidewalks to show accessibility, noting lack of curb cuts
Notice the lack of curb cuts anywhere. This was on the stretch between Last Supper and the Duomo in a fairly upscale business neighborhood.

Castello Sforzesco

We walked through Castello Sforzesco on the way to the Last Supper. There was a stone (read: bumpy!) path through the castle, but it was closed off for an upcoming concert. So we walked along the walls on a path of hard dirt/gravel–much easier than the stone. These old remnants of the city’s fortifications were really cool to see, and I wish we had had more time to explore.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper

Note: We had to book tickets well in advance, and the system is slightly confusing. The Cenacolo Vinciano website is the source for official tickets. The museum sells three months of tickets at a time, and they announce when those tickets will go on sale a few days before they post them. So you should be checking the website at least 5 months in advance to see when those tickets will go on sale (and keep checking until the date is posted). I suggest checking the Cenacolo Vincian website for general information, and the ticket sales page for more specific information on the purchase process (and to atually purchase). TICKETS CAN SELL OUT QUICKLY AND FAR IN ADVANCE.

We arrived at our tour a little early, so we explored the Santa Maria della Grazie church. This Renaissance church houses The Last Supper, and is beautiful in its own right. It was also very accessible and free. Definitely worth a visit.

The building housing da Vinci’s Last Supper is modern and accessible. There is a ramp to get into the air-conditioned building, where you go through security. You then go through a series of large doors that control the air flow and climate into the large viewing room of the Last Supper. Once inside the viewing room, there are plenty of places to sit and I could drive my scooter as close to the painting as everyone else could go.

Tip: Drink your water before entering the building–security will make you dump it out.

Duomo di Milano

The Duomo is impressive in all aspects. It is also largely wheelchair accessible. The entrance is accessible, and the main floor of the cathedral is accessible. There is an elevator that goes up to the roof, and from there a path to walk/scoot on the roof. I was able to get into the elevator to go up to the roof, but there was a hard 90 degree turn that my scooter could not make. But a manual wheelchair would be able to do so.

Note: People with disabilities and one personal care attendant can tour the Duomo for free by pre-ordering tickets from the Duomo’s website–select the pass you want, and then select the free rate for people with disabilities before checking out. I recommend choosing the Duomo Pass Lift as it gives the most options for accessing what you are physically able to do. I recommend ordering tickets in advance, but the cathedral’s capacity is quite large and I did not see it sell out.

Tip: Pay attention to the pronounced bumps as you roll over the floor. The different color marbles have varying degrees of hardness, and so certain colors have worn down more than others. You can literally feel the grooves from centuries of wear as you cruise around the cathedral. Also, pay attention to the dress code as it is a cathedral.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria is across the street from the Duomo. It is a gorgeous shopping and dining complex, as well as a good respite from the heat.

Outside the Galleria is a statue of Leonardo Da Vinci depicting him in the various roles/careers he pursued during his life.

wheelchair accessible view of leonardo da vinci statue outside of galleria

Teatro alla Scala

The Teatro alla Scala is across the street from the Galleria. The main entrance has stairs up to the box office, but a worker came out to get us once we got his attention. The worker than took us in a side door with a ramp, and then up through a private elevator. From there, we were able to access the entire museum as well as go inside a private box so we could see the stage. The worker who assisted us actually gave us a guided tour — he was knowledgeable and hilarious!

For further detailed analysis of wheelchair accessibility of Milan, please contact me.

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