Life at Villa Lucia of Tuscany. Bathroom stories continue- flushing devices.


In the year 2000 the bathrooms became modernized,  tissues  of  better quality if someone doesn’t steel it and  the bathroom  lights  usually not on a timer. Most modern facilities now have automatic flushers even though at times they might  scare you off the seat like a high power Hoover vacuum about to suck you down the drain without  warning when it decides you should be done. Not sure what is worse.

Where is the flushing devise? Is it:  the  side level, wall mounted, vertical level,  cord hanging from the ceiling, electric eye or the  rubber floor pedal. I have seem them all.  Is it the  small ball to the side of the tank, the  handle on the unit or  the red spot on the water tank? Sometimes I could not find it at all. Might be the reason in the past  one would often find public toilets at times un-flushed.


Curtain cord

flushing cord

Wrong Cord




Recently seeing an old cord flusher reminded me of years ago as a college student one  morning when getting ready for my shower in a hotel room.I pulled a long cord which was often found to the left of the toilet.  Not paying attention to the absence of the sound of  water swirling down the drain, I looked up to a number of happy faces of  smiling men on the deck playing cards outside my window, glancing at  my stark naked 20 year old body.  I had pulled the curtain shade up thinking it was the mission impossible dam flusher. Thank  God that was yesterday. Today their smiles would be replaced with ugly frowns, frightened by the sight of my body  50 years later.

Life at Villa Lucia of Tuscany. Bathroom stories, using a bidet.

When traveling to Italy to work on our abandoned farmhouse in the 80’s, my neighbor Nina, upon my arrival and our customary cup of coffee together, would always ask, “ so you’re here again to add another bathroom. What do you Americans do in there?”  My objective in the first 12  journeys across the sea was accomplished having added 12 more bathrooms  to the house that had one. I believe today for most Americans it has become one’s  private sanctuary.  Managing the B&B  I have found guests  linger there indefinitely, missing buses and at times even  meals. It has become a reading room, a spa, a place to contemplate, be alone, and  often the only place to enjoy solitude. When out to a private home for dinner one night with a dear  friend, I became concerned when she delayed her return when using  the facilities between the serving of  antipasti and the main course.  As the host  family waited patiently for her to join us at the table, holding off the serving of the main course for 20 minutes,  I wondered,  did she fall in?  Finally, the dinner no longer warm,  Sally  appeared at the table smiling, unaware of her tardiness  whispered to me, “ I feel so good”. My answer, “ sure must have been a good one”.  “ Oh no”, she answered, I fell asleep on the pot”. Now this is something I don’t think many  Europeans would do. In the 90’s one  bathroom item always fascinated our guests. “Amazing how Italians  cater to babies. They put those little tubs for infants in each room”, I overheard  a B&B guest comment to another.” Oh no,” said the other, “  I believe it is to soak and wash your underwear ”.  As they debated the issue, a third guest overhearing them as he  came down for coffee,  laughing at their comments, informed them that they were both  wrong. “ It is a foot bath”. When I  explaining it was to sit on, and to be  used as a cleaning devise,  confused looking faces would then ask, “How do you sit on it, facing front or  back? “Well it would  depend what you want to clean,” was my answer to guest questioning the use of the commode that often is seen by the side or directly in front of the toilet in most |Italian bathrooms, the bidet. bidet 3 bidet Europeans like my husband are introduced to the bidet after being potty trained as a child, making life without a bidet incomprehensible.  Americans with an Anglo-Saxon heritage  might have been introduced to the bidet for the first time by viewing Paul Hogan  in the movie, Crocodile Dundee, when he  squirted the ceiling accidentally,  unaware of the bidet’s function as a cleaning  devise for one’s private areas .bidet 21396368014896 Apparently,  none of the questioning guests had seen the movie or might have  missed the significance of the popular  Italian bidet. I must admit,  although not raised using one in America since marriage, I have learned to appreciate this wonderful cleaning devise. I have been told that often foreign guests not familiar with this commode in the past would mistake it for a toilet creating a messy situation for chamber maids. Thank God they have been removed from most private room. I for sure would never have been in the lodging  business for 30 years, if not. baby bidet