Wash Day in Italy

We did laundry today. When you are living as nomadically as we are, laundry becomes an issue requiring creative thinking. Creative thinking, we are told is good for the brain.

When we were in Nice, for the first five weeks, we enjoyed a quirky French washing machine that averaged about 90 minutes per load. And, the quirky French clothes dryer that sort of “steamed” the clothes dry. After every load, you had to empty a reservoir of collected water. Over the rail and onto the plants. Good for all.

Then we moved into downtown Nice and a small studio apartment for two weeks. And, another style of quirky French washing machine. But, let it never be said that the French don’t go to great extents to make sure their clothes are clean. Even the smallest machine has a complicated selection of long wash cycles. But, thorough. At this location, though, no dryer. Clothes went on the small rack on the balcony. We were reintroduced to the clothespin. And, as long as it didn’t rain, the clothes dried nicely…within a day or two.

On to the farm. When we left Nice, we transitioned to an Agriturismo on top of a very high ridge overlooking most of the Piedmont Region of northern Italy. The apartment had its own collection of quirks, but the washing machine was functional and a bit less esoteric than its French cousins. But, with no dryer, a couple of rainy days, fog and average humidity of about 99 per cent…the wash took about three days to dry…without a guarantee of final clothing shapes.

So, then to Torino and a slick urban apartment for just a week. Washing machine in the bathroom. Which reminds me…when first in Nice, the laundry was located in a utility closet outside on one of the terraces. Downtown, the washing machine was in the tiny studio’s closet. On the farm, just outside the bath. Torino, washing fine. Figure out where to hang it. But, with much lower humidity and good heating, no problems.

Then we had this idea to come to Lucca, in Toscana, for the rest of December. This is a community with 51 churches built between the 8th and 11th centuries. After that, because of visa issues, we’ll leave the “Euro Zone” for 90 days, then return. In the meantime we needed to do some wash. And, the apartment we are in has no washing machine. Something you may take for granted.

Our outing today consisted of loading up the clothes and walking a few hundred meters to the “lavanderia a gettone” with an obligatory stop en route to pick up a couple of panini. The laundromat was self service of course with a few washers and a few dryers and a whole bunch of people with a whole bunch of laundry. But, nice people who were more than willing to help a couple of Americans figure out the lavanderia culture…with patience and smiles. Our euros got the job done with only one false step involving a giant dryer.

Wash and dry. Very clean. As many times in Denver that we washed…and dried our clothes in our own machines in our own spaces…I cannot remember it ever being, also, an occasion for a good cultural lesson…a time to eat a fine panini…or the prelude to going back out the door for a excellent Italian coffee! I’m just not sure where the next washing machine will be…or, how it will work. That requires some thought.