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Holidays without barriers in Maremma

Free umbrella, deckchair and sunbed for those with disabilities, initiatives for sea enthusiasts and a map to discover the accessible routes in Grosseto.

In Tuscany, there are many ways to spend a summer holiday without barriers: from the sea to the countryside, passing through the cities of art. For several years in the area of Grosseto, there have been some really interesting projects carried out that offer, even on the beach, services for travelers with disabilities.  

  • 1.
    Sea for everyone: the project
  • 2.
    A map of the accessible routes
  • 3.
    Velaterapia and other activities

Sea for everyone: the project

Umbrellas and deck chairs at the beach
Umbrellas and deck chairs at the beach - Credit: Ben Kerckx da Pixabay

A map of the accessible routes

15 partners and 5 regions including Tuscany collaborated in the European Gritaccess project aimed at creating a Great Tyrrhenian Route that prioritizes accessibility to the naturalistic and cultural heritage with new communication technologies. One of the experimental actions, carried out by the municipality of Grosseto together with the Tuscany Region, concerns the identification of physical and virtual accessibility paths. The map was created by probing the quality of the soil to reveal the level of practicability for tourists who travel by wheelchair or scooter and provides the description of different itineraries to reach and travel through the city center, highlighting the points of historic interest in Grosseto. By consulting it, we find the recommended route to reach the city center from the railway station, the walk on the Medici walls and the city route to visit, including the Archaeological Museum and the Cathedral. Easily accessible routes (for pushed wheelchairs, electric-powered chair, electric hand-cycle, electric scooter and wheelchair segway) are marked in green; while easily accessible sections with electric-powered supports are marked in yellow, but with some difficulties for hand-pushed wheelchairs.

Visit kimap for more information and navigate the map of Grosseto, or download the pdf guide.

All maps are updated to 2019.

Velaterapia and other activities

Velatherapy: the sea as a time for sharing and integration
Velatherapy: the sea as a time for sharing and integration - Credit: Vela Insieme
Sailboat excursions in the seas of Tuscany
Sailboat excursions in the seas of Tuscany - Credit: Vela Insieme

The Vela Insieme association is a "sea school" accessible to all, operating in the Grosseto area. Over the years, it has developed its business on this philosophy, making the sea accessible and and creating navigation "tools" for aggregation and integration through the formation of mixed crews, disabled and non-disabled. The difficulties and obstacles typical of life on boat can thus become opportunities for dialogue and communication, mutual understanding and confrontation between "sportsmen".

Cruises and sea trips take place on board three sailing boats. These are three classic cruise boats of 12 and 14 meters, capable of hosting crews of eight. They are deliberately standard boats, in line with EU directives on the defense of the marine environment.
There are many projects of the association, if on the one hand disabled people are offered the opportunity to access and experience moments and emotions normally precluded, at the same time the "normal" members of the crew have the opportunity to know in a direct way the reality and daily difficulties of their fellow sailors.

Experiencing navigation through Velaterapia positively influences emotional well-being, the participant's self-determination and attitudes towards people with disabilities as well as the elimination of prejudices. The association also organizes "nautical weeks" for small groups of disabled people who are accompanied by expert skippers and nature experts who help new sailors discover sailing techniques as well as the intriguing marine ecosystem.

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