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Laundry in Italy

Hi. We are spending 23 nights between Italy and France (Paris) in the summer. If we are to go with just carry on, we will need to do laundry. Looking for suggestions of places to go do laundry, how long does it usually take, etc. Vacation time is precious, so this makes me nervous. I am thinking that maybe I would need to do laundry twice. Probably Florence and Milan, but maybe Rome as well. Staying close to Termini, Santa Maria Novella, Milano Centrale.

Thanks again for all the help.

Posted by
4645 posts

Are you staying in hotels or apartments? I typically make sure to rent a place with a machine at an appropriate point in the trip, making sure to allow time for air drying, as dryers are rare. In summer, things dry on a rack in mere hours.
If you are staying in a hotel, ask them what they recommend and pay for a service. They typically have it back the next day and it is well worth the money.
Taking enough clothes to NOT do laundry would be a mistake, causing you to drag around way too much stuff!

Posted by
2768 posts

I don’t have specific places but a few general thoughts

Pack for 7 - 8 days, rewear some things, and do full laundry 3 times. Full laundry here means using a machine and washing a lot at once. You can hand wash things in the sink in between if needed.

There are 3 ways to do machine laundry in your trip.

  1. Find a laundromat and do it yourself. Plan on a couple hours

  2. Find a laundry service that will take clothes you drop off, wash them, and have them ready for you to pick up later that day or the next day. Big, fancy hotels do this for a large fee. Local smaller services are much more affordable.

  3. Rent an apartment that has a washer. Many do, but dryers are more rare - plan time to hang your laundry to dry. There are always drying racks if there is a washer.

Posted by
2508 posts

On 2 trips to Spain this year, I found laundromats called Speed Queen--they are apparently a franchise available in a number of counties in Europe. Both places I used were clean, fast, and convenient, and I will google for locations on future trips. BTW, the dryers at both were way better/faster than any commercial dryers I have used before.

I confess to enjoying the downtime of doing laundry in the middle of a trip. Feels a bit like being a local.

Posted by
11480 posts

We can usually get our laundry done in less than 90 minutes in a laundromat, but if there is a drop-off place, I prefer that and it usually runs about €20 for a suitcase (22 inch) full. Go to Google Maps for the city and search for launderette or laundry or lavanderia. In Rome there is one that does it for you right in Campo de’ Fiori.

Posted by
7737 posts

We've used the one in Campo de' Fiori. It's a little pricey but worth it. Lovely people. You pay when you drop off your clothes, and I had forgotten when I came back and tried to pay again. They refused to take my money and just laughed good-naturedly, shaking their heads no.

That said, we've now started staying in apartments and always look for one with a washer, usually in the kitchen. (Dryers are as rare as hens' teeth.) Be sure to ask if they have easy-to-read instructions on how to use the washer. Italian washers are very different from American washers.

Posted by
2064 posts

I have fond memories of having downtime in laundromats at least once per trip. I use the tine to write emails, read or just relax. I still remembering several frindly boys in Parma helping me figure out the how to get correct change for the machine. I also travel with concentrated soap to do hand laundry at least weekly.

Posted by
1018 posts

I must be a cheapskate because I generally do laundry in my room using the sink or bidet to do the wash. Laundry detergent is always on my packing list. A few times we've used a laundry and that was most convenient.

Since we're in our 70s our travel time has decreased from a month every year to 15-17 days every year we pack so we will not need to do any wash.

All of the above comments were cogent suggestions and you will need some strategy since you are staying for 23 nights.

Buon Viaggio,

Posted by
3112 posts

Finding a drop-off laundry service near your lodgings is probably your most convenient option on a busy trip, but self-service laundries all have driers. If you do laundry in an apartment and the weather isn't suitable for drying clothes on a line or rack before you depart (rainy, cloudy, zero wind, etc.), take them to a self-service laundry and just use the driers. You should be in and out in about a half hour.

Posted by
95 posts

This is great laundromat 5 minutes walk from the train station. The machines are clean and the detergent self loads. Dryers actually dry stuff. I have used it on several trips.

Lavanderia Speed Queen
Via della Scala, 52/54,
50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Posted by
2508 posts

Lavanderia Speed Queen
Via della Scala, 52/54,
50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Good to know that Speed Queen is as good in Italy as I found in Spain.

Posted by
98 posts

And if you're on the other side of Florence there's
Wash & Dry Lavarapido,
Via dell'Agnolo, 21 R, 50122 Firenze

Posted by
5697 posts

For 23 nights you could possibly only need a full wash twice -- if you don't mind carrying home a suitcase with a week's worth of dirty clothes. (For that I recommend carrying Ziploc bags!)

Posted by
3 posts

We try to pack light and spend most nights in an Airbnb with a washer. Be sure to ask the host for instructions for use. We have yet to check into a new place where the washer is the same. They all seem to be different and have very different controls. Also recommend asking about the quick wash cycle. The "normal" cycles can take up to 90 min!!! I thought they might be broken. Was very happy to find out about this last tip. Quick wash cycle. So you don't have to wait around the apartment for hours when you could be strolling the piazza.

Posted by
11368 posts

We have always been able to find wash, dry, fold services throughout Italy, ready at the end of the day for pick up. Occasionally we have our hotel do it for us.
Often rent apartments with a W/D or just a washer.

Posted by
1878 posts

Florence has lots of laundries, you can find the Yelp listings by Googling. There is at least one on Via Della Scala. I think the one I used was "Speed Queen" around #52 on that street. There was an attendant who did the laundry for me in about an hour and a half. He spoke perfect English and we had a very nice discussion. This is walking distance to Santa Maria Novella. Rick's 2019 Italy book lists four or five in Florence. I recommend his book for Italy, it's never failed me yet and I own 2007, 2016, and 2019 editions. These launderies often stay open late so the best time is after a full day of sightseeing, before or after dinner. I did this in Bolzano this year and 1.5 hours one evening out of a two week trip did not take a big bite out of my fun. This was after I had already ran myself hard for eight or so hours of sigthseeing so sitting down for a bit was not bad at all.

Posted by
30 posts

We stayed in some apartments with washers and did hand laundry the rest of the time. We loved the place we stayed in Florence just a few weeks ago in the Oltrarno neighborhood. Awesome loft apartment with a washer. Booked through VRBO, property number 6468924. Owner is Pietro T. We also brought along some folding lightweight plastic hangers that worked very well for drying clothes in a hotel room.

Posted by
1 posts

Consider carrying dirty laundry in the trash bags that absorb odors, usually made for kitchen trash cans. I had my, very active son, use them at college to put his athletic clothes in between laundry days. Works great!

Posted by
1050 posts

I am usually very protective of my time in each city i visit in Italy. Even though I've been there many times, there is always a new adventure waiting for me. Usually I send laundry out, do some things in the sink, or use the machine in the apartment. Last year, in Venice, I decided to go to the laundromat in the Giudecca area. Clean, relatively inexpensive, quicker than I thought. But the best thing was sitting in front of the place, looking over the Giudecca canal, with a book in my lap. Three different groups of 'locals' stopped as they walked by. The conversations were amazing. They shared about local businesses, tourism, the damage from cruise ships (as a really big one inched by), international politics and where to get the best Spritz. We all struggled with language - which brought about a whole lot of laughter. We all began at the same place: love of Venice. I'm thinking I might give this a try in other cities. Could be interesting! Could change my opinion of laundry day!

Posted by
2508 posts

Exactly, Robert!

How often have people here wondered how to meet/talk to locals? Pretty much every visit to a laundromat has resulted in some interaction with a local. Some of my fondest travel memories happened while doing laundry.