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Il Bagno = WC (water closet)

November 28, 2010

On the drive back home after a Thanksgiving spent with family in upstate NY, my parents and I stopped at a farmstand to buy apples.  I stopped in to use the bathroom.  When I tried to lower the toilet seat, it came off in my hands, and this, of course, brought back memories of Italy.

Before I lived in Italy, I had no idea how many individual components there are to a satisfying public bathroom experience.

In America, my criteria were limited to available soap, toilet paper, and paper towels, and clean toilet seats.  After a short amount of time in Italy, my personal list expanded to include:

  1. Is there a mirror?
  2. Is there a sink?
  3. Is there a toilet seat?
  4. Is there even a toilet? Or just a ceramic hole in the ground with helpfully indicated footholds?
  5. Is there a bathroom available to the public?
  6. Does the door lock?
  7. Does the door shut?
  8. Is warm water available?
  9. Along with the conventional soap, paper towels (not likely!), and toilet paper categories

If the answer to four or more of the above questions was yes, I deemed the venture a success, and added the bathroom to a mental map of superior facilities available in Florence.

Best bathroom award: on the train in Sicily from Agrigento to Siracusa, the bathroom drained onto the tracks. Looking down through the toilet, I could see th ground whizzing by below.

A sign in the stall read, “Do not use bathroom unless train is in motion.”

I’ll say.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 28, 2010 1:07 pm

    That is so funny and brings back so many memories. So, nothing has changed! And yet, how to explain the Bidet?

    I loved yesterday”s wine vignette. So poignant. How come I never got any of that chocolato? You let the mice have it? Vergogna!

    • November 28, 2010 1:44 pm

      Sorry grandma, the mice didn’t ask before they munched 😉 I’ll bring you some 2-year-old cookies if you’d like! Plus I’m taking requests for my imports on the next trip.

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