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Restrooms in italy

I am concerned about finding restrooms in Italy and having to leave the tour group when nature calls. We’re scheduled for a RS Italy tour. I’ve had a kidney transplant and sometimes I have little warning time. I know I will need restrooms during guided tours and don’t have the luxury to “just wait.” Sometimes I need to find one in a hurry and don’t want to hold back 29 other tour members! Yet how would I know how to catch up with a tour? I also worry about finding restrooms in Italy. Many thanks for advice/information. No judging, please.

Posted by
6797 posts

Will you be by yourself. or with a partner?

Probably the advice to take advantage of every toilet you see is a good one, I am sure the group (given the average age on tours) makes plenty of pit stops at sights and restaurants.

But yeah, Italy can be a bit tough on toilet availability, you will be relying on museums, train stations, or restaurants/coffee shops. Don't know your situation fully, but you might look at incontinence products (Depends or others) as a backup.

Posted by
571 posts

Talk to your tour manager at the start of trip so that they are aware of your needs. They should be familiar with restrooms in museums and at sites. I have found bars are willing for you to use their restrooms so long as you purchase a coffee or juice. Which is a bit counter intuitive as they tend to add to the problem - so purchase a drink, use the facilities and “forget” to drink it on the way out! .

Your coach will likely have a WC for emergencies. Not the easiest to navigate as it’s usually by the rear stairs, just be sure you have TP with you. The drivers prefer they not be used as they have to clean them out at the end of the day, but again a chat to the tour manager will help. I believe that RS still make a point of stopping for a rest break frequently wherever possible. However some of the off major highway roads don’t have rest stops.

Good luck and hope you have a trouble free trip.

Posted by
7549 posts

My recent experience was a restroom stop every two hours on bus days and at least once during a walking tour. Guides are good at pointing out restroom locations.

Many of the walking tours are led by local guides with your RS guide bringing up the rear of the group. You could ask your guide for assistance if there was a sudden need during a walking tour.

Posted by
552 posts

I tend to get nervous about finding rest rooms but had no problem on two 2-week trips on our own to Italy because you can use restrooms in cafes if you buy a coffee or soft drink, as noted by another poster. I don’t know what it would be like on a tour.

Posted by
4012 posts

What people have said about (coffee) bars being good places to go is true. There are lots of those.

This is also true, no matter where you are, especially in the morning after too much coffee, tea or really any kind of liquid:
"Probably the advice to take advantage of every toilet you see is a good one..."

My experience on 6 RS tours so far is that this may not be so true:
"...I am sure the group (given the average age on tours) makes plenty of pit stops at sights and restaurants."

As I think back over those tours, the male tour guides, RS or local, were the least likely to be concerned about frequent pit stops or pointing out toilet facilities. The older female guides were the best and the younger female guides were marginally better than the male ones.

The absolute best about this issue was Lynn, our tour guide for the Best of Ireland in 14 Days this summer. She made sure we all knew where the toilets were and reminded us to take advantage of them. She even had the bus driver stop for one guy to use a toilet one time when nobody else needed to go.

In addition to the guides, you will have a buddy on the tour. Both your buddy and the RS tour guide will need to know about your situation. Buddies aren't joined at the hip, but are responsible for making sure they are each where they are supposed to be. If you need to go, you'll need to tell your buddy. That person can tell the tour guide and the group will wait. In fact, they may appreciate the chance to rest a bit.

Please don't worry about holding back the other tour members. Somebody has to be 1st in the toilet and somebody has to be last. Sometimes I've been both of those. 😃

It's also been my experience that tour members are held up by other tour members for other reasons as well, like not getting up early enough in the morning or taking too long at lunch or leaving their passport in the room safe or the dreaded shopping.

Note that the group will often be taken to a place, like maybe a museum, and turned loose to explore on their own, with a designated time to meet back at a specific location. Those places will have toilets.

Also, don't hesitate to use a toilet for people with disabilities if that's the closest one, and it typically is because it's on the ground floor. I do that because of my bad knees and because the toilets for those with good knees are usually up or down stairs.

In the Republic of Ireland, those toilets had signs that said something like, "not all disabilities are obvious." I appreciated that.

Posted by
3807 posts

There is literally a bar every 2 or 3 blocks in Italy each with its neon light sign saying Bar. If you are not blind, finding a toilette shouldn't be a problem.

Ask for a glass of sparkling water, pay around 50 cents and use their toilette. Of course you don't have to drink it, but if you have a sweet tooth you can buy a praline instead of something (not) to drink.

The only bars/restaurants where you are not supposed to buy something to use the toilette are those on the motorway network, also known as Autogrill. Tipping the cleaning ladies working there is not mandatory at all; if you really want to, leave around 20 cents when you exit the toilette, not before entering!

Posted by
710 posts

In urgent situations, I have coached my husband to walk in like he owns the place and stride confidently towards the back, or sometimes, down the stairs. Meanwhile, I order something at the bar. If you're alone, walk in like you own the place and buy something afterwards. A very old priest once told my husband, who was much younger at the time, "Never pass a toilet without using it." As my husband has gotten older, he has verified this as a very good idea. BYO tp and paper towels, by the way. And hand sanitizer, which is also hard to come by in some locales. But, you probably already know that.