I can see that a visitor to Venice is able to enter many of the attractions in Venice at a reduced, or entirely waived fee.

Therefore, to obtain free admission, the interested parties can present any document issued by a public authority, giving proof of their condition.”

Source: Venice City Pass

I assume that the range of acceptable documents includes the 'Blue Badge' issued by local authorities in the UK because it is issued by a public authority and appears to give proof of the holder's condition and features an EU insignia.


A problem appears to arise for those who have driven by car to Venice because the badge must be displayed on the dashboard of the car when a marked space is used (otherwise the person will get a violation costing around GBP 75).

The only other thing a tourist is likely to have is their 'radar key'...

Surely this would not be acceptable to a museum guard in Italy? Or is it?

A less palatable option is to carry along their discharge summary...

enter image description here

But this is a technical document and is hardly understandable to a layman, and if it were it contains information of a deeply personal nature which far exceeds what the occasion calls for.

Other documents that appear to meet the Venice City Pass criteria require that the holder receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) OR does not carry an EU insignia. And DLA/PIP is harder to qualify for than simply having a disability.

What will meet the need? Or are they likely to be more relaxed about their requirements than the Venice City Pass site suggests? Would they accept a photocopy of the 'blue badge'?

Note: per commentary asking where I would park, it's my usual parking venue in Fusina.

  • 1
    Would they accept a photocopy?
    – Urbana
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 17:44
  • 5
    This seems to be common problem in the EU not believing someone is disabled even if they are in a wheelchair and clearly can't walk. Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 18:03
  • Related question for France/Paris: travel.stackexchange.com/q/64766/32134
    – mts
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 10:22

2 Answers 2


I went to numerous museums in Venice (and Florence and Verona) last summer with a friend in a wheelchair, and she was never asked for documentation at any of them. Simply being in a wheelchair was proof enough.

  • 7
    Not all blue badge holders require a wheelchair however. (The fact that this Q is even being asked suggests that the person in question does not)
    – CMaster
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 7:52

Since your parking venue in Fusina is Parcheggio custodito 24h, you probably have a simple solution, at least to solve the Blue Badge problem. Make a photocopy of your Blue Badge, and take the original and the photocopy to the car park attendant. Since the car park is staffed 24 hours per day, you can ask them to check your original and then annotate the copy with their name and a message to indicate that the original has been checked.

In case you don't speak Italian, I would suggest language such as "Ho bisogno di usare questo tesserino per accedere dei musei. Per favore puo mettere suo nome sulla copia e la lascio sul cruscotto?". On the photocopy write something like: "Originale visto da Pinco Palino" and date and time. Pinco Palino would be replaced by the parking attendant's name. Then leave the photo copy on the dashboard.

Proof of disability in Italy is a very precise requirement. For example for the Vatican

Free entry, without the need to wait in line, is granted to all disabled visitors with certification of invalidity of 74% or over

Edit: This appears to be purely Vatican city rule and not aligned with Italian law stated below.

Needless to say, not too many foreign disabled visitors have a card with their percentage disability readily to hand.

The lack of a European-wide method to indicate disability was raised in parliament in 2013 regarding a proposal originating in 2011:

There are 83 million EU citizens with some kind of disability. They are entitled to enjoy the right to freedom of movement, as recognised by Article 26 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as much as non-disabled EU citizens. While in their home countries there are a number of benefits in place for people with disabilities, such as concessionary fares, which facilitate their mobility and inclusion in all areas of social, economic and cultural life. However, these benefits cannot be transferred when travelling to another EU Member State, in order to work or go to university or for other purposes. This is a serious obstacle to the full enjoyment of the right of freedom of movement.

Which received the following answer (abbreviated):

The growing interest of EU Member States has enabled the Commission to initiate a project working group where representatives of interested Member States and civil society are dealing with practical details of issuing and managing a European model disability card. This group is still in the early stages of its work but the expectation is that the card to be developed is likely to grant benefits in the areas of culture, leisure, sport, transport and tourism.

In 2015 the following a "position paper" was published with the results so far:

incluD-ed asks the new EC, the European Parliament and EU MS to establish an EU Mobility Card providing “mutual recognition of disability status and thereby facilitating free movement of persons with disabilities in the EU

i.e. not a great deal.

Italian law providing access for the disabled says:

Possono inoltre entrare gratuitamente nei luoghi espositivi alcune categorie di persone tra cui:
i cittadini dell 'Unione europea portatori di handicap e ad un loro familiare o ad altro accompagnatore che dimostri la propria appartenenza a servizi di assistenza socio-sanitaria (Decreto Ministeriale n. 239 del 20 aprile 2006);

Which states essentially that free access sould be provided by law to the disabled and their assistants who can show they are eligible.

http://handylex.org expands on the precise requirements saying

Non è precisato quale documentazione sia necessaria per dimostrare la propria invalidità, né - soprattutto - come si accerti l'appartenenza a servizi di assistenza socio-sanitaria.

i.e. that the documentation required is not specified in the legislation.

In the absence of any precise requirement and any EU standard, the following anecdotes are offered:


I travel a lot and visit lots of museums in the EU and have never been refused disabled concessions ( including Rome). I take a copy of my Blue Badge and DWP letter

I suspect the author is visibly disabled though.


We were asked for proof of disability but had none (blue badge back in England), but as my husband has a clearly visable physical disability we were waved in to the shorter queue.

Free access to the vaporetto limited to wheelchair users:

Just tried it today. They won't accept any disabilities unless you have a wheelchair. (I live near Venice and work there).


Note: the Parking Badge is what was suggested to us by the ticket booth at the Vatican Museum as being adequate proof.

Other people have suggested a doctor's note, but I'm dubious about the value of a written letter.

In summary I suggest you use the method indicated at the beginning of this post to obtain the original Blue Badge to take with you. If you have any other official documentation, then obviously take that too.

This document may also be useful and provides links to the various Disability Benefits and Entitlements in European Countries

Buona fortuna!

  • FYI the law is purposefully vague when it comes to not specifying which documents one is allowed to show. The reason being it would be impossible to list them all, and it'll depend on each individual and their disability.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 10:38

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