Italy is not an easy country for travellers with disabilities, and getting around can be a problem for wheelchair users. Even a short journey in a city or town can become a major expedition if cobblestone streets have to be negotiated. Although many buildings have lifts, they are not always wide enough for wheelchairs. Not a lot has been done to make life easier for the hearing or vision impaired either.

The Italian National Tourist Office in your country may be able to provide advice on Italian associations for travellers with disabilities and information on what help is available.

If travelling by train, ring the national helpline 199 303060 to arrange assistance (6.45am to 9.30pm daily). Airline companies should be able to arrange assistance at airports if you notify them of your needs in advance. Alternatively, contact ADR Assistance (www.adrassistance.it) for help at Fiumicino or Ciampino airports. Some taxis are equipped to carry passengers in wheelchairs; ask for a taxi for a sedia a rotelle (wheelchair).

Italy's official tourism website (www.italia.it) offers a number of links for travellers with disabilities.

Accessible Italy A San Marino–based company that specialises in holiday services for people with disabilities. This is the best first port of call.

Sage Traveling (www.sagetraveling.com) A US-based agency offering advice and tailor-made tours to assist mobility-impaired travellers in Europe.

Accessible Travel Online Resources

Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guide from http://shop.lonelyplanet.com/accessible-travel. Another online resource is Lonely Planet's Travel for All community on Google+, worth joining for information sharing and networking.