Other shortlisted practices 2014

Barrier-free vacation

In the year 2000 the holiday house I Girasoli in Lucignano, Italy, was established, which offers special services and organises accessible excursions and tours for persons with disabilities. The goal was to create a socially inclusive environment in which guests with disabilities can enjoy the barrier-free vacation spot with others.

“We’re trying to limit physical and psychological barriers as much as possible, where anyone can enjoy the right to live a vacation and have fun.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Integrated Model for Accessible Tourism
of origin
Beneficiaries targeted All persons with disabilities
Approach/ model/ solution:A network of accessible properties to provide a barrier-free vacation


  • the project has established a network of accessible properties in 5 Italian regions (Tuscany, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Campania, Friuli Venezia Giulia)
  • 28 accessible excursions including destinations in Tuscany and Umbria regions are available
  • the number of foreign clients increased from 5% to 29% in 3 years


The project was founded to make vacation accessible for everyone. People with disabilities encounter lots of obstacles while travelling. The Integrated Model of Accessible Tourism provides assistance and many services, so the visitors can enjoy a barrier-free vacation.


The project on “Accessible Tourism” was founded by the “Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla – Italian Organisation of Multiple Sclerosis”. The holiday house “I Girasoli” consists of 51 rooms and 9 bungalows. At I Girasoli a lot of services are provided for people with disabilities like aids and equipments (equipped beds, hoists, electric scooters, etc.), assistance in general handling (adapted physical assistance), special diet (gluten free, etc.) as well as accessible buses to organize transfers, excursions and tours.


Over the years, the network “Like Home” was developed. Additionally to the I Girasoli, further accessible apartments have been established in other Italian villages. The facilities are used by Italian and foreign tourists from all over the world – with and without disabilities. Plans are to expand the accessible itineraries and tours in other regions, in cooperation with European tour operators. After years of experience AISM has also implemented a training and consultancy service – the “Italy without barriers project” – which is focusing in particular on destination marketing and implementation of accessible itineraries, available to public and private institutions.

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Excursions (Picture: AISM)


Loc. Selve di Sotto, 89C
52046 Lucignano, Italy
+0039 0575 819020