Wash day in Italy

After our full day yesterday we planned on taking it easy this morning and washing some clothes.

Clothes hanging on line

Wash day in Italy

I proceeded to figure out the washing machine. I should have paid more attention when our host showed me how to use it, but I was so tired when we arrived I couldn’t concentrate. How hard could it be to use a washing machine anyway? I loaded it up with the delicate setting and waited for it to wash. It went through its cycle and finished but did not spin so I waited…oh oh, it started over again and again and again. Finally,I realized it was not going to spin and I took a chance and quickly grabbed the clothes before it started to fill again as it was a front loading. To my dismay I found some of my lingerie had no elastic left in them!

I was really careful with the next load, I noticed that the setting on the dial stated, “Cont”; I guess that means to continue, and it saves energy as it does not spin. You take the clothes out and wring them by hand. I didn’t save much energy on that first load. I found the settings for one short cycle with spin and made up for my earlier blunder.

Wash hanging on line

Wash hanging on a line across balcony

Most people in this neighbourhood had no dryers; this is very common in most parts of the world. Here, in Trastevere and much of Italy the wash is strung across narrow roads, over balconies, on lines or a plastic twirler. I really enjoyed the fresh smell of the sheets. It reminded me of my mom hanging out clothes in our back yard when I was little; sometimes they froze stiff on the line, but no chance of that happening here.

Clothes hung on a twirler

Clothes hung on a twirler

I watched the ladies expertly handle those large sheets shaking them out bringing them together like an accordion; shaking some more until all the wrinkles were out, and then unfolding them over the railings to dry. I struggled with them and couldn’t imagine doing this week after week.

I always do a bit of hand washing at home and on the road, but I use my drier in Canada-I want to be energy conscious really…but just don’t want to take the time. Our condo association in Mexico made it a rule not to hang cloths over the balcony, not even a damp beach towel. It is strange because Mexicans, in general hang the wash. I suppose it is because the majority in our building are Canadian or from the United States.

Trevi fountain Rome at night

Trevi fountain-Rome at night

When the wash was done and we were rested we headed out to see the Trevi fountain. It was nice to see it lit up at night, and of course we threw in our coins. We had to make sure we would be returning.

I wonder how may people hang their clothes to dry.


About babyboomersmusings

I am an artist, that also loves to bake, cook, write, garden, decorate and take photos. I have dabbled in all kinds of crafts and business. My passion is travel; I travel and manage my websites. www.travel-tips-packing-luggage.com and nu-groovy.com "With direction in one hand and passion in the other, my hands are always full of possibilities." ~ unknown
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4 Responses to Wash day in Italy

  1. megtraveling says:

    The sight of laundry is one of my favorites in Italy – great post!


  2. camparigirl says:

    Most people in Italy don’t have a dryer. It’s an issue of space and not just financial. Most washing machines are crammed in the kitchen or bathroom and the ones that do double up as dryers don’t work very well. I grew up in the North, so hanging the clothes out in winter was not an option: elaborate hangings in the bathroom ensued. The more south you travel, the more common it is to see laundry hanging outside. It’s a view that here, in the States, I miss. Besides, the sun gets rid of stubborn stains and leaves the laundry smelling wonderful (maybe not as soft….). Enjoy your stay


    • So true it is also an issue of space. My moms towels weren’t as fluffy either especially when she brought them in frozen to finish drying in the house. I never thought about the sun removing stains…good point. Thank you for dropping by, it was fun to read your comment and the added information.


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