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Village Italy - Bathrooms

I've been to Italy and remember running into 'Turkish toilets' in a public bathroom in a hilltown in Tuscany and at a small train station or two. On the tour is that the norm in the villages?

Posted by
1926 posts

No, definitely not the norm but maybe one or possibly two. It seems as if there was always a flush option if you were willing to wait for that particular stall. Sorry......faulty memory; fabulous tour!

Posted by
8203 posts

I agree with Andi, they were not the norm. It seems to me like the only one I saw was in the Monterosso Train station and there were several regular toilets with a line and a couple of squat toilets (no line). Believe me...I would remember if that were the only option!

In polling my brother and SIL around the breakfast table (great conversation to start the day...pancakes and potties, lolol!! which has now deteriorated into suitable positions in the woods...ie Telemark vs snowplow) anyway....my brother says he remembers a slit trench in the men's room at the Etruscan Museum in Chianciano Terme as the guys were discussing it. My SIL and I decided there must have been alternatives in the ladies room as neither of us ever used a squat toilet.

BTW, that Etruscan Museum and the guide were fabulous. It's a smallish museum and very doable and the guide was amazing.

Posted by
8186 posts

Thanks both of you. Pam, you actually made me laugh out loud! I remember that one I found was at a train station in the CT. I don't remember which town. I'm happy to hear they are not common place and that options can be found.

Posted by
1054 posts

The only squat toilets I can recall were a couple of places in France and Sondrio Italy (which is not on the Village Italy tour.
Sit down toilets are sometimes labeled as handicapped toilets, so you can always look for that in public places. And you can also walk with determination and self confidence into a cafe ...
The villages are actually quite sophisticated.
It's a great tour and you will have a fabulous experience!

Posted by
187 posts

You are probably thinking of the bathroom in the Vernazza train station. When I was there , just over a year ago, they only had a squat toilet.

Posted by
763 posts

It is not the norm. I cannot remember seeing a Turkish Toilet on that tour. I did encounter one in Ventiglimia, just inside the Italian border from France. I was shocked actually. I detest the Turkish toilet!

Posted by
1047 posts

Everyone needs to experience a squat toilet at least one in their lifetime.

Posted by
8186 posts

Thanks yosemite1. I've been there, done that so I believe I'm okay to avoid them if possible in the future. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the toilets I saw was in Vernazza.

I'm looking forward to the tour, and I'm happy to hear that Turkish toilets should not be an issue.

Posted by
8203 posts

Yes, you can stop doing hover squats in your exercise routine (anyone else have a flashback to Anna Benson and The Firm workouts just then?) and replace them with flights of stairs, lol!!

Posted by
6320 posts

I have to laugh at how squeamish some women are. As a senior with bladder issues I have squatted in the woods, alongside the road (open both car doors and squat between them), and behind bldgs when no one was around. Not proud of it but when I gotta go, I gotta go. I don't care if there's a door on the stall or a seat on toilet, or no toilet at all just a hole in the floor. As long as I only have to pee I'm good, now #2 - that's another story. I do have to say that some of the squat toilets I've seen in southern Europe are so disgustingly dirty that I'd rather go in the woods.

Posted by
5652 posts

I encountered an Italian squat toilet in a Northern Italy (Asiago) cafe. Not the norm but they do exist in Italy.

I did hear of a problem experienced by a older woman who could not get to an upright position and needed outside help. I suppose balance may also be a problem for some.

Posted by
2263 posts

Now that would be a really interesting new RS Tour -- "Diverse Bathrooms of Europe, from elegant palaces to the ditches beside country roads." Talk about Europe through the back door, with lots of opportunities for experiential tourism.

Posted by
8203 posts

Laughing...Larry that is great!

Posted by
524 posts

The only Turkish toilet, that I recall, on the VI Tour was in our very first group meal restaurant. It was spotless, but it was a squat toilet. I don't think there is ever a clean toilet at a small rail station. :) I still have nightmares about the one Vernazza. There will probably be a few toilets without the seat, where you will need to "hover", I don't recall. But on our S. Italy tour, it was rare to find a toilet that had a seat. I must say, the constant remarks about the lack of a toilet seat became rather annoying.

Posted by
8293 posts

Why all the hoo haw about the lack of toilet seats? Do people actually sit down on public toilets? Even as a kid I knew better than to do that.

Posted by
1926 posts

I just have to add here for all the new travelers out there-add a small packet of kleenex (or a few sheets) to your purse/pocket/backpack. Along with the lack of toilet seats, there is also a noticeable (?) lack of tp in a lot of the public toilets.

Posted by
8186 posts

Not only a lack of TP, but also soap. For that reason I always have a small pack of tissues and hand wipes.

Posted by
524 posts

As to actually sitting on public toilets, I always "hoover" (my word). My mom always stressed "Do Not Sit on a Public Toilet". I didn't then, and don't now. Besides, I have been in some, where I felt I needed a shower after leaving. Yes, tissues are a wonder idea. On our S. Italy tour the guide gifted each of us with a new packet of travel tissues. Wet wipes are another great suggestion. You just never know when you won't have either.

Posted by
4572 posts

Memories, memories. Some years ago DH and I were living and working in Poland. A friend of ours taught anthropology at the local university, and invited us along on a student field trip - mostly to Polish villages. These were not "Rick Steves" villages; these were the kind where the hot spot in town was the bus stop. A tiny store sold cigarettes, newspapers, and bus tickets. Maybe toothpaste, and odds and ends. If a toilet was available, it was inevitably the "squat and aim" type. Or, more often, our friend would direct the bus driver to pull over to the side of the road as we passed through the woods, and announce "Boys to the left, girls to the right!" Ahh, good times.

Posted by
245 posts

We did Rick's VI tour last May. I wouldn't call it the norm, but if I'm counting right, we did run into 3 of them when we were all together at locations we visited during day activities.

Posted by
57 posts

We're considering booking our first RS tour, so I decided to scan the boards to see if anything hit me. This is the tour we're thinking about. So, this is the first topic I read! I had not even thought to worry about this!

Extending the topic a little bit . . . Are there shared bathrooms in any of the accommodations on this trip? If so, how many times?

Thanks!

Posted by
1926 posts

On our Village Italy tour itinerary last June there were no shared bathrooms in any of our accommodations. If you are concerned, I would call the tour department before you sign up and ask them that question. Sometimes the itineraries and/or hotels or B&Bs change.

Posted by
524 posts

I have been on numerous tours, and thus far, no shared baths. I have taken the Village Italy, LOVED IT!! There were no shared baths, but hotels do change from tour date to date, and from year to year. I agree, call and ask about the dates you are considering. I am sure they will be able to tell you.

Posted by
8203 posts

Janet, on another thread regarding bathrooms, lol, one of the RS staff folks replied and said the only shared bathrooms are on the 21 day Best of Europe tour in the hotel in Stechelberg Switzerland and on one of the maybe??? Scandinavian tours.

I have taken Village Italy and there are no shared baths. I did have a shared bath on the BOE tour.

BTW, to see if there are shared bathrooms, look under the Activity Level on the tour page. Take a look at this link.

https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/europe/europe-21-days

TAKE THIS TOUR!!! It is such fun!