Until 7 November 2019, Padua will be hosting the Paralympic Culture Festival, with this year's motto "Sport as a universal right". The initiative, promoted by the Italian Paralympic Committee (CIP) in collaboration with the University of Padua, includes three days of conferences, testimonies, debates and exhibitions to promote sport as a tool for integration, without physical or cultural barriers.
Several places in the Veneto city, nominated as European Capital of Volunteering for 2020, will be the setting for the second edition of the Festival: Palazzo del Bo, Palazzo Moroni, the Cittadella Universitaria and Caffè Pedrocchi. Among this year's novelties is the artistic collaboration of the famous Italian photographer and artist Oliviero Toscani, who has agreed to offer his view of the world of Paralympic sport. His shots will be on display in an exhibition open to the public during the three days of the event.
More than 40 athletes will be taking part, including Alex Zanardi, Simone Barlaam, Federico Morlacchi, Antonio Fantin, Francesco Bettella and Arianna Talamona. They will be joined by the most important names in Italian sports journalism, writers, testimonials and institutional representatives.
Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane is also supporting the event, together with Inail, Eni, Mediobanca, Fondazione Internazionale Terzo Pilastro, Toyota, Grandi Stazioni Retail and Rai as media partner.
FS Italiane's commitment
Through its operating companies Rete Ferroviaria Italiana and Trenitalia, the FS Italiane Group works to ensure accessibility for people with reduced mobility and disabilities in stations and on board trains.
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana has invested more than €400 million in the last two years to remove architectural barriers in around 100 stations. All new railway stations are designed and built in compliance with European standards, as required by the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI).
The Sale Blu lounges provide everything you need to organise your journey: they provide useful information to make the best use of the service, including timetables and booking methods, wheelchair request, driving service at the station, accompaniment to the train or exit and the free luggage porter service.
One of the FS Italiane Group's best practices was to invite representatives of the Associations to visit Hitachi Rail and Alstom's Italian factories and production lines. The chance to meet and talk to Trenitalia's engineers made a key contribution to adapting the new regional POP and ROCK trains to the needs of people with reduced mobility.
The FS Group's commitment also extends to other actions, such as the launch of the SalaBlu+ smartphone application for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, even temporarily, who choose to travel by train. The app, presented in February 2019 and with over 5,000 downloads in less than eight months, has in fact received the approval of users and was recently awarded the Certificate of Merit from the Associazione Familiari e Vittime della Strada (being the Association of Families and Road Victims).