Detailed step-by-step wheelchair accessibility information and photographs of Lake Como (Colico) in Italy from Summer 2022.
Lake Como is a large, picturesque lake in northern Italy, nestled in the foothills of the Italian Alps. Lake Como has multiple segments, and numerous cities along its pristine shores. Lake Como is a very rustic area, however, and thus few wheelchair accessible cities on its shores.
We scoured the internet and could not find much information about the wheelchair accessibility of Lake Como cities. We used Google Maps to virtually explore all of the cities on Lake Como with an accessible train station (and some that we thought were accessible). Colico looked to be the best bet—the train station was by the water, there were curb cuts and sidewalks, and there was a path along the water. So we took the gamble and took a day trip to Colico. It was a surprisingly accessible city and a great way to explore the waterfront in a wheelchair.
This trip was so worth it–one of the best day trips in Italy (right up there with Venice).
Overview of Route
Our trip was all within two miles of the train station. In that distance, we explored several piazzas, the ferry boat landing, a long waterfront walkway, a boat landing, and many restaurants and cafes.
Boarding the Train
We booked our tickets to go from Milano Centrale to Colico on Trenord. We contacted Sala Blu the night before to schedule wheelchair assistance. They told us to go to a new meeting spot on the ground floor (as opposed to the Sala Blu room), and gave good directions on how to find it. The big sign also helped. The Sala Blu attendant showed up on time, and he walked us to the train. The threshold was very flat with minimal gap, and so we did not need assistance boarding. He made sure we had a good space, and then wished us a good trip.
Wheelchair Accessible Train Ride
The wheelchair compartment was spacious—I was able to park front or sideways, and could move around depending on which window I wanted to look out of. The bathroom had a power operated door, was spacious, and clean. The ride was smooth and comfortable.
The train ride was stunning. Colico is at the northern tip of Lake Como, and the train goes along the coast for most of the journey. It is a very pretty trip, with great views of the lake, towns, and tunnels.
Accessible Colico Train Station
Upon arrival at Colico, we were greeted by a Sala Blu attendant. The threshold was pretty minimal, and so I was able to scoot off without assistance. The attendant then escorted us and two people with visual impairments from the train to the station.
Getting around Colico (Mostly Wheelchair Accessible)
We walked down the main street of the city for a few blocks. The vast majority of the sidewalks were smooth and wide enough for my scooter. We did encounter a few spots where the sidewalk was broken up or the curb ended without a curb cut. We were usually able to backtrack and find an alternate route pretty easily. At one point, the way to a curb cut was a block or two back, so we opted to use our portable ramp and I went down the road for a short stretch.
In short, getting around Colico is definitely doable, but may took a little imagination and backtracking. We also found a medical and wheelchair repair store.
Wheelchair Accessible Waterfront
After exploring the main street, we turned down a street and walked/scooted the two blocks to the water. There was minimal traffic, so I opted to scoot down the bike lane of the road. The waterfront was gorgeous. There was a large piazza with several cafes and restaurants. The bricks of the piazza were bumpy, but manageable by going at a slower pace. Along the waterfront ran a large, paved walking/bike path. This pathway ran to the ferry terminal, and continued for quite a distance in both ways. About a mile down the road was a boat launch that I was able to scoot down and get right up to the water. The scenery was so stunning that we opted for a picnic lunch on a park bench…and other people had a similar idea around us. It was gorgeous, peaceful, and relaxing.
Return to Train Station
We walked/scooted up the road from the piazza on the waterfront to the train station. This road was perfect, and would have avoided the backtracking discussed above. Rather, we could have turned toward the water from the station, and the road ends at the piazza. Very easy and convenient way to go between the train station and the piazza/water walkway.
At the train station, we were greeted by the same Sala Blu attendant. He waited with us for the train, made sure we were able to board easily, and found a good spot for the ride back to Milan.
The wheelchair accessibility and photographs of Colico (Lake Como) confirm this is a very wheelchair friendly town set on pristine Lake Como. I strongly suggest all wheelchair users consider this day trip.