Volume 5. The ‘Italian’ Bidet

Ciao! As many of you know this is my first month living in Italy. I figured it was about time to address the additional fixture in my Italian bathroom. 

This particular fixture was the first thing I noticed walking into the hotel bathroom. Everything seemed normal… a shower, a sink, heated towel rack, a toilet… But then there was an additional bowl in the corner.

 The certain fixture I am referring to looks very simple: a mini sink with faucet at seat level. At first, I was not sure what an additional mini sink was doing in the bathroom. The bathroom was already very small. Why would they add another sink if space is limited?

The next day, a native Italian helped me move into my cozy apartment and yet again I discovered the additional mini sink in the bathroom. It seemed no matter the amount of space, the additional feature was present. Why??? So I asked the Italian (who laughed) shaking his head. He explained it’s use and that it was a bidet. Before this, I thought I knew what a bidet was, I was wrong. I now know there are different types… ones that are installed on the toilet and others, like the one in my appartment, that are separate fixtures. He also informed me that everyone in Italy has a bidet. No matter how tiny or cluttered the small bathroom, space is made. 

As an American, I did not grow up with a bidet. I cannot seem to wrap my head around using it ‘as needed’ (I’m not explaining that one). But, I have done some extensive research on why everyone has a bidet in Italy… especially because I knew the word bidet is French. I won’t bore you with those details, but if your interested, you should look it up! 

Personally, I have not been able to use the bidet for it’s traditional use, however it’s taking up space on my tiny bathroom so I thought I might as well find a use for it. 

Some of the practical uses I determined include:

#1. If I had a pet, it would be wonderful to use as a water fountain. It seems as if dogs like drinking toilet water, now they just have their own fountain. Better yet, if the dog is small enough, use the bidet as a tub to wash him! However, I don’t have a dog so, on to the next one…

#2. A place to keep my plants… super convenient actually. Instead of needing to fetch water to quench its thirst, all you do is turn the bidet on. With this method, there is no need to worry about over watering, water spilling out of the pot or accidentally knocking over the plant (I’m such a klutz). 

#3. It’s convenient height makes it perfect for washing your feet. I would always get yelled at home for walking outside barefoot as a kid. I would then have to turn the shower on to wash my feet before going anywhere else in my house. While I tried to only get water on my feet, it seemed impossible because I would many times just end up taking a shower.

#4. Ladies, tired of trying to stand in the shower while shaving your legs and when finished, you realized you missed an entire section? Then put a bidet in your bathroom! The close proxemity to the toilet allows one to sit on the closed toilet seat with their legs in the bowl of the bidet so one can easily shave. The faucet of the bidet allows the legs to be rinsed after shaving. There will be no more struggling to be flexible, trying putting your leg in the sink if you decided to shave your legs outside of the shower or take care of missed spots.

#5. This alternative use I believe to be the most useful. Use the bowl of the bidet as a bucket to hold soapy water to wash your floors. When finished, just release the stopper and all of the gross water disappears. Also, use this method to clean the head of your mop! 

If you have any other suggestions on alternative uses for the bidet, I’d love to hear them. 

Buonasera!

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