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Well...….not as glamorous as asking about the Vatican museum or Trevi Fountain but as we are in our mid to late 50's, its something we have to ask about!

When we were in Prague, "public" toilets were available for 5 czk's per use and they were relatively easy to find. Checking online, it seems like I get all kinds of outdated and conflicting information. Just wonder from those who've been there recently, anything we might need to know - cost, how available, etc. I understand that bringing our own TP is wise as well as hand sanitizer. I've also downloaded an app called "WC Rome" but not sure how accurate it is.


Posted by
867 posts

Haha, Herf..."an important question for sure"

St. Peter's has a public restroom - on the ground level before you go up the steps to the Basilica. No money needed. There is an attendant there (and a guard). There are signs to direct you. Or guards to direct you. They do speak English. They had soap dispensers and hand dryers.

You can always go into a McDonald's and use their restroom - I had to one time - did not buy anything - lines were longgg anyway....just went to the back of the restaurant - used facilities - no money needed - soap and hand dryers worked fine.

As a rule, I "do" carry wet ones and a couple of packs (10 ct) tissue packs daily (out and about.). No need to carry a whole roll. I bring enough packs in my checked to last me the whole two weeks.

eta: The tissue packs can be bought at Dollar Tree or similar stores. They have ones that are 2- or 3-ply - usually come in a 10-pack. If they don't have those, you can still get a 6- or 8-pack. Sometimes, Dollar Tree's store inventory differs depending on demographics, warehouse availability, etc.

One time, at the Trevi, I bought a small gelato. I used their restroom at the back of the gelateria. But, I wanted the gelato anyway, so it was a win-win, lol.

Of course, most sit-down restaurants will have a "patron restroom or two."

Just in case you go somewhere that does require some coin - keep some euro coins on you - usually when you buy something small - break a 5€ if you can - you will get a 1€, 2€ or 50 cent coins.

Posted by
3829 posts

On our recent trip to Italy, if there was a charge for a rest room, it was 50 cents. It is wise to keep some change in hour pocket when out and about.

Posted by
6258 posts

Although I always travel with the small packs of Kleenex I don't think I ever needed them. I can't remember a facility in Italy that didn't have TP. No toilet seats, but TP was available. Do start hoarding change.

If you are going to Cinque Terre, the train station ladies room in Monterosso has some of the squat toilets but there are regular toilets further on in the bathroom.

Posted by
11395 posts

If you ask “dove sono i bagni”, someone in Rome might send you to the Caracalla Baths.

When in Rome do as the Romans do, so speak Roman:
Ahò, ma andô stà er cesso?
(Hey, but where is the toilet/WC?)
(cesso=toilet is pronounced “chess-o”)

Some public restrooms might have a charge but it is a nominal one, it shouldn’t be more than one euro per download, therefore even less than on the Applestore. If they do, they are generally in better conditions than the free bathrooms.

If none are close by, just go to a coffee bar, order something small (espresso, glass of sparkling water, etc.) and take advantage of their facilities, and also give your feet a rest.

Posted by
682 posts

Looking for free (or inexpensive) toilets is part of the adventure. You have received much good advice, and it pays to keep some loose change with you at all times for those times when you really need to use the facilities.

I have an iPhone and I downloaded two apps for finding toilets, and which supposedly work around the world. They are "Flush" and "WC Finder". I have no personal information on how accurate they are in Rome, but they seem to work okay here in my hometown. In Rome, they do list several McDonalds, so that is encouraging.

Word to the wise is never miss the opportunity to use a restroom, especially before leaving a place where you have had something to eat or drink (cuz they owe you one trip) or where you have paid for admission (they definitely owe you one trip).

Sometimes you will find a bank of public WCs in major cities. Some of these are listed on Google Maps. Ahh, the wonders of science and innovation!

Posted by
404 posts

Having just got back from Rome our wonderful RS guide would tell us every time you leave a place with a bathroom use it even if you don’t need it then. She of course would tell us where all the free ones were as we were out and about. We never paid all week but did do the Gelato run one day to use the bathroom.

Posted by
4148 posts

In Italy, for me, needing to use a restroom means it is time to stop for a coffee, or later in the day, a glass of wine.

Aside from that, take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself...museums, lunch, dinner, etc.

Posted by
867 posts

Herf, some tidbit info. I messaged two of my friends - one who is Roman, lives and works in Rome. The other friend is also a born and bred Italian and lives and works in Northern Italy. Both told me "it is acceptable" to ask for "il bagno" especially in tourist areas.

They said Italians know that travelers may not speak fluent Italian or know the proper. They laughed -- they won't send you to the Diocletian Baths. If all you happen to remember are those two words, no biggie. In Italy, most know the words restroom or toilet.

Posted by
380 posts

Bring lots of change and be prepared for some of the worst restrooms you have ever seen. Guy's have it easier than girls (hint hint!) My moto in Italy is never pass a free bathroom without using it. Charges can be from .50 to one Euro and some are manned and expect tips.

Posted by
1230 posts

"Il bagno" means the Bathroom, nobody would think at the Caracalla's baths. Roberto was joking, they are called the "Terme di Caracalla" in Italian.

"Bagno" is mostly used for bathrooms inside private houses and hotels, it means a room where you would expect to see sink, shower, bidet etc. etc. In public establishments and museums a polite Italian speaking standard Italian would ask where the "toilette" is or where the "servizi" are. Nevertheless these days "bagno" is fully acceptable and clear in any situation.

Except for bars in front of Rome's Faculty of Archaeology, nobody would hear "bagno" and think at the roman ruins. On the other hand, if you ask about the poor Emperor Vespasiano, they'll tell you where the closest public toilet is.

Toilet Attendants can expect tips as long as they want, just like lawyers, plumbers and cops. There is a reason if the few 90-something italians that tip Toilet Attendants do it when they exit and only if the place is spotlessy clean and fully furnished.

Posted by
178 posts

I'm pretty sure that no matter what I say in Rome, most Italians will (hopefully) know what I mean, lol.

I use Google Translate when I travel and find it interesting when I input "Where is the restroom", the response is " Dov'e il bagno?"

Posted by
185 posts

I din't know what lactose intolerance was until I was in Venice on a vacation.
The search for a bathroom was dramatic. (too much info)
I have since paid attention to my diet :-)