Inside Italy: Let It Be…

We had a problem with a leak in the bathroom that was dripping into the apartment below so a couple of idraulici (plumbers) were called in.  The leak came from a pipe beneath a tiled floor and two feet of solid concrete, so a pneumatic drill was used to dig a huge hole, which was just as loud and messy as it sounds.

The plumbers, who barely spoke a word of English, geared each other up to ask me, in the universal language of mime and lots of pointing, if it was true what they’d heard: English people don’t have bidets?   I confirmed this was correct and then, by the use of some very graphic mimes apparently involving handstands in the shower, they demonstrated how they thought we would ‘freshen up’ after using the loo.  They found this hilariously amusing and much merriment was had laughing at the funny, disgusting ways of foreign English folk!

Bidets certainly are very important here.  An American friend, who owns an apartment in Rome, wanted to remove the bidet when refitting her bathroom but was told in no uncertain terms that she would never be able to sell the apartment to Italians without a bidet.

Actually, it’s not quite true that we don’t use the bidet – it does come in very handy for chilling beers when I’m taking a long bath…

beers in bidet by


14 thoughts on “Inside Italy: Let It Be…”

  1. I loved reading this!! It’s like the elephant in the (bath) room for us Brits! I reckon you’ve put it to great use! Although, it might make the shower handstands more risky…


  2. Haha, so funny! It’s pretty rare to have one in the bathroom here in Australia too 🙂 I’ve read funny stories on the net of tourists who have use them for washing everything *except* what they are supposed to in them!


  3. When I first moved here, I survived with a number of part time jobs. A local builder asked me to help fix a leak in a bathroom. I thought lift a few floor boards fix the pipe and trot off to the bar for a well earned glass of vino.

    We had to dig out 1 and a half ton of concrete with a drill and then lower the rubble with a bucket and manual hoist down 4 floors of an apartment. My arms were killing me, it was at this point that I realised we had to lift 1.5 tons of concrete back up 4 floors, with my little bucket and hoist.


    1. I really hope you didn’t do all that in one day??? It took my plumbers almost two weeks to get the job done – they were starting at 10am and knocking off for lunch at 12.30. Obviously it wasn’t worth coming back after that so they’d see me domani…


          1. I was making ends meet with lots of part time jobs, I worked as a gardener, builders labourer, behind a bar. Basically anything I could find.

            The plumber paid surprisingly well, but it was only when he needed some help.


  4. I’ve seen quite a few bidets in the Czech Republic, too. The most confusing one was in the bathroom of a movie theatre. It had a sort of iron grill on top- couldn’t tell if the grill was practical, or merely decorative.
    Also, thanks for the follow! 🙂


    1. Yes, ours ends up with a thick layer of dust on it. When I have
      Italians over I have to give it a good polish in case they think we’re
      strange/disgusting for NOT using it!


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