VENICE. Now you can go for gondola ride even if you are a wheelchair user.
On Friday morning, at the gondola station in Piazzale Roma, in Rio Novo, the first special platform was inaugurated, which will go into operation in about one month to allow wheelchair users to board gondolas.
To demonstrate how to operate the device, whose project began in 2012, two representatives of Gondolas4all (which developed the system) were involved: Nicolò, a boy aged seven, and Pietro Scidurlo, aged 37 of Somma Lombardo (Varese), a handbike athlete with Free Wheels Onlus. The two wheelchair users were able to board and then alight thanks to a special hydraulic platform that prevents the risk of falling into the water and, above all, allows wheelchairs to alight, which is an almost impossible feat to accomplish manually.
“A contribution of 50 thousand euros from the Regione Veneto (Veneto Regional Government) - explained Alessandro Dalla Pietà of Gondolas4all – has enabled us to reach the half way mark, with this prototype, even if in order to complete the project at least another 80 thousand euros are required.” “The message we are launching today from Venice - pointed out Domenico Rossi, the Under-secretary for the Defence department that has sponsored the project - transcends the issues of impaired mobility and architectural barriers: ethical and moral barriers are also overcome.”
(english translation by Soget Est srl )