The Toilets Of Italy

PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content Moderatora 10000+ points - Super Pooperb 9000+ pointsc 8000+ pointsd 7000+ pointse 6000+ pointsf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

For a Jew or a Muslim to travel through Italy is to tempt the wrath of God or
Allah, because those Italians know what to do with the pig. If you think you
know prosciutto, or sausage, or salami -- you don't. To put it in perspective:
the meat selection in the display case at a GAS STATION we stopped at was better
than most supermarkets in America.

Italian toilets, however, are another story. I won't say that American toilets
are necessarily better -- I want to, but I won't, because I'm not sure if I'm not
biased by 25 years of a particular style. Suffice it to say, Italian toilets are
different -- and in my opinion, aren't nearly as conducive to pooping enjoyment as
the American style.

As far as I can tell, most residential Italian toilets are deep, steep bowls with
a few inches of water at the bottom of a dark recess. Compared to American
toilets, with large, shallow, gentle bowls, Italian toilets swallow up logs into
their dark recesses -- denying one the immense pleasure of admiring one's work.


But beware, for the Italian toilet is fraught with peril. If your ass is not
positioned directly above the water hole, your poop will hit the sides and roll
or slide their way down the slope. Since there's no water, there's nothing to
eliminate friction -- which means that any poop that doesn't hit the water will
leave a long, undulating smear.

That's why, omnipresent along side every toilet is a toilet brush -- a shit-stick
specially designed to scrape off the smears the admittedly impressive torrents of
flush water cannot blow off.

shit stick

Americans, or at least me, are not used to having to clean smears after every
use. When we got to our first hotel, not familiar with the protocol, I left
smears all over our bathroom (a toilet shared by all six rooms on our floor). My
girlfriend, a seasoned European traveler, returned to our room after her
constitutional, and chastised me for leaving my shit all over the toilet.
Sheepishly, I returned to clean.

One good thing about Italian toilets is that flushing is fast, violent, and easy
to repeat. Italian toilet tanks are often mounted on the wall, much higher than
American tanks -- so water comes out in a rushing surge. This is useful for
removing a stubborn poop that has clung to the side of the slope, effusing its
rancid stench with no water to act as a smell barrier as it refuses to roll down
to its new home.

What's more, you can flush for as long or as short as you want. Rather than
simple levers, I encountered many flushes with on/off mechanisms -- the water will
keep going until you turn it off, facilitating hands-free removal of
less-persistent poop smears, as well as quick, simple courtesy flushes.


Every hotel bathroom we encountered had a bidet. Like any PoopReporter, I'm a
big fan of the bidet (in America, we call them buttsinks), so I was excited that
I could use them everywhere I went. The problem was that they were unlike any
bidet I had seen:


Most bidets I've seen spray up. These don't -- it seemed that all they could do
was fill the bowl. Were they footsinks or something -- not bidets at all? It
wasn't until we reached my girlfriend's Italian cousins' house when I saw a bidet
post-use -- drain pulled up, filled with water.

I guess they fill them, squat over, dip their hands and clean themselves.
Although I can see the sanitary benefits, Italian bidets don't offer the
incredible bliss of a hot jet of water shooting up your crack. I'll stick to
French style, thank you.

bidet filled

Leaving the hotels, I found that most restaurants offer sitters, although quite
often without seats, implying that the stoop n' poop is common practice in this
country. However, I found one restaurant with this aberration:

restaurant squatter

This baffled me. Jenny's cousins had taken us to their favorite place, a
restaurant on a farm in the middle of nowhere, so this wasn't a touristy place --
we got the impression that, like in America, touristy places can get away with
providing cheap facilities. So why would they have a toilet like this?
Especially, since a) clearly Italians are aware of the benefit of sitters, and b)
the women's room, right next door to the men's, had a perfectly normal toilet.

restaurant sitter

Most heavily-touristed cities in Italy have well-maintained public facilities.
In these, men and women share sinks, with separate alcoves for each sex to do
their work in private. In some, bored looking men or women collect .50 euros
($.50) for the privilege; in others, collection is automated. In Venice, one
public toilet we came across had five or six cans of air freshener stacked neatly
by the entrance to the stalls; stupidly, I did not get a picture.

public one

public one

Finally, I took these pictures -- pictures that may or may not reflect the state of toilets in Italy, but are interesting to PoopReporters nonetheless.

Castle toilet

An 18th-century toilet in an 18th-century castle outside Trieste.

floor toilet

Typical accommodations at a typical tourist restaurant.


Pull left to flush -- and it'll keep flushing until you turn it back.

foot pedals

I came across quite a few sinks worked by foot pedals.

open bathroom

Many hotel bathrooms consisted of the toilet, the sink and the shower in one big, non-partitioned room. Everything got wet.

pull handle

The bathroom on the train from Venice to Florence. Cramped! Stinky!


The bathroom of Jenny's Italian cousins, presumably the typical residential setup.


My left shoe, after a typical night of good wine and bad aim.

58 Comments on "The Toilets Of Italy"

doniker's picture
j 1000+ points

"Italian toilets swallow up logs into their dark recesses -- denying one the immense pleasure of admiring one's work."

This is quite disturbing to me. I must always examine my shit, and to check for blood or any other abnormality.

Thunder From Down Under's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Such intelligent reporting on the places of the world, screw National Geographic!

Lauren's picture

having recently returned from italy, i agree with some of your points, but you failed to mention the scent of urine that permeated most of the country. they have toilets, so why does it frequently smell like piss? also, i was forced to squat over many a hole in the floor. also, i used many mini toilets with very tiny tiny seats. this, of course, made me feel as though i had the largest ass in all of creation. i much prefer american toilets.

Brown Seymour's picture

Good reporting. But the thing with your shoe? You piss on yourself on a regular basis? That's disgusting. You really shouldn't do that. If your aim is that bad, you may want to consider sitting down to piss.

Posenose's picture

Hey- the bidet thing is totally on target, my husband kept thinking it was a foot sink too! I kept telling him it wasn't, so I am glad to know I'm right!

corncob's picture

Yeah, I really liked the foot pedal/sink thing. Americans try so many different ways to get around the "touching the public bathroom faucet handle" problem. Like the annoying-ass ones that you press down, and that slowly come back up over the course of about 10 seconds, which usually need to be pressed again, defeating their purpose. Or the finicky motion-sensitive ones. Just step on a pedal and you can control the water precisely, and not have to touch anything with your hands.

The first and only times I have used a bidet were in Italy, so I'm used to that kind rather than the other kind. If you turn the water on high enough you will get this sort of curving jet, which you can then put your backside into. I don't know if actual Italians did it that way, but that's what I did. Bidets are great. I want one, dammit.

tracy's picture

Thank yo so much for the Italian toilet report. I am going there next week and I wanted to know what to expect.

I found that the bidets in Portugal were the same as the ones shown here.

Jay's picture

The lack of partitions between the shower area and the rest of the bathroom drives me crazy. All over Thailand it is like this, except for the upper end tourist hotels. The whole bathroom is constantly soaked. What the hell are these people thinking?....or perhaps they are not thinking!

Dave's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content Moderatora 10000+ points - Super Pooperb 9000+ pointsc 8000+ pointsd 7000+ pointse 6000+ pointsf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

I'm in college in England and we have toilets like those pictured at the top with deep bowls. I like them because of their prodigious water flow, they seem to be able to digest my huge offerings without complaint, unlike wussy American water-saver toilets. We have bidets like those pictured too, perhaps due to the many foreign students here. The trick with them is to angle the swivel nozzle up to get the stream up to your pooper so that your cares will be washed away. I used to think I was civilized because I used wet wipes, but this is living. It almost makes up for the antiquated sink plumbing!

Bruce Waller's picture

I found the toilets in Germany had a little "wading pool" where the turds stand by for inspection before the big Super Flush from the tank way up high. Not only did they flush hard and fast but the toilet paper (sand paper) was something rather unpleasant.

Craig's picture

My wife, who has lived in Denmark and Sicily in the 1960's, wanted a bidet for our new house built in Minnesota in 2000. The Kohler bidet has both upspray and a downspout, both of which work great. As a bonus, our master bath is directly above our lower level which means almost instant hot water from the short pipes water heater to bidet!

Ilene's picture

I must tell you that finding this site is like a weight off my _____. I never knew people had the same poop concerns that I do. First, I love European toilets because they FLUSH like crazy. Not like my American toilet here which was clogged for two days. You should see how strangely my cat looked at me when I shared his litter box until the plumber finally came.

walt's picture

You have taken a weight off my mind, pal. After 12 months of faecal hell living in student accommodation with 'water-saving' toilets that everyone would flush an average of twenty times for each use (which kind of defeats the 'water-saving' idea), i am now traumatized about matters faecal and as i'm due to spend some time in Italia this summer i was anxious not to revisit my student days. You have made my day, my man.

JOSH's picture


Barbara's picture

i have to say i have never seen such an in-depth story on toilets. Although i am severly disappointed in not seeing any spraying Bidets, since i have been searching for a picture of one all afternoon, but i enjoyed reading none the less.

Pilfo's picture

Check out

Jonathan's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Unfortunately I live in the biggest shit hole on the planet, also known as England, I was born here and have had 15 miserable years on this planet so far. When I went on vacation to Florida I noticed how much more sense American toilets make. English ones, like italian ones are about 50000 meters off of the floor, they're tiny, and what is with that crappy flush thing, where it makes so much noise! it's unbelievable, and you have to wait about 6 minutes before you can flush it again. When ever you go to public restrooms, they allways stink of piss! the only place in England that doesn't, is McDonalds! There is no way of flushing urinals, and they have this stupid idea, to have seperate faucets for hot and cold water, - so you burn your self on one, and then freeze yourself on the other! Why?!

RBPIE's picture

by the way...just to inform you of the toilet that is basically a hole in the floor and a place to put your feet...its a turkish toilet (old version) but obviously they still exist. You are to place your feet on the sides squat or stand whatever you gotta do and move all clothing out of the way...and hope you have good aim. Then afterwards there is a container or something of sorts that you can fill with water to make sure everything gets washed down. Just thought I would share that info for those who didnt know what it was.

I Know Jonathen!!! (HE IS SEXY)'s picture

I totaly agree with Jonathen. England is abit SHIT and the toilets r CAP. American ones are MUCH BETTER. p.s. Jonathen, Im watching you. You live in cott. See, I do know you!

Appreciated's picture

Thank you, i appreciated ur site, it helped me in my health project.

Someone who knows swaziedog n jonathan's picture

Sorry bout da comment by 'swziedog' da guy ho rote it is sort of friend of mine who used my old email adress an said that it was swaziedog (me) who wrote it. Ne one who knows who swazedog is... I DONT FANCY HIM. I think he s a nice person but that is all. I just thaught i would let u no dat no one is stalking u and that the person who wrote that is VEY scairy

Helena's picture

Yooo! I totally agree with my brother (jonathan) American toilets are much better and when you go to the toilet the reat of the world can't hear you!!!! (unlike in england)When i went to Florida they were much better. And in England all the restrooms stink of piss because they arn't cleaned very well and it should be brought to more peoples attention lol well i also wanted to say how the hell do u know my brother lol ( its quite scary dat u say u know were we live!!!!!

RH's picture

In East Africa, the hole in the floor thingie is called an "asian toilet", and is quite common. I almost rented a house with one, but that nixed the deal.

In a side note, an old British Expatriate told me the asian toilet was the source of a popular saying-

The British soldiers would go out drinking, go to the 'loo and literally "Get their shoes full!"

KelC's picture

thanx ur site helped1 I'm doin my speech on washrooms around the world so........ Thanks a bundle!

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

That Turkish toilet looked really scary!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Sitting Wiper's picture

A few years ago I had a few days on my own travelling by rail in Italy and doing some sightseeing.

I crapped in some squat-me-down toilets in the Dolomites (clean, with paper) and then went to Naples. Someone mentions McDonald's in England, favourably. I don't normally visit McDonald's on principle, but I did have occasion to go to McDonald's in Naples.

I'd been on the train to Herculaneum, city near to Pompei destroyed in the earthquake of the year 79. Before getting back on the train I bought two large apples, and proceeded to eat them on the train back to Naples.

I realised that the belt of my jeans had been buckled up right from the moment I had got dressed in the morning.

When I got to Naples station, the toilets were terrible, so I made my way into the nearby McDonald's for a cup of coffee and something to eat - can't remember what.

Then I made my way to the men's toilets, making sure I had some coins to give to the little old lady waiting outside.


Sitting Wiper's picture

first part got 'flushed away' before I had finished, if you see what I mean.

Sitting Wiper's picture

After the 'little old lady'.

I found that there was toilet paper in the cublcles, but no door locks, and no seats. I burst in on a guy, probably British, he said 'What???!!!', who was sitting with his trousers right down to his ankles. I said 'sorry', slammed the door and left.

I decided that lock or no lock, seat or no seat, there was paper, and better to be safe than sorry. So after wiping the porcelain with paper, I pulled my trousers down, and sat down. It just slipped out without so much as a squeeze or a grunt. It felt very satisfying. After urinating I wiped my bottom and flushed, did myself up and went to wash my hands. Yes, there was hot water and soap. No one had burst in on me, and I think the other guy waa still in his cubicle. I had a few coins to give to the little old lady.

Somebody mentioned the toilet paper in Germany. Well, a few years ago, I took my little brother youth-hostelling in Germany after I had got my degree and he had finished his GCSE exams (at 16). One day after emerging from a cubicle, he said 'Next time we'll bring some emery cloth - it's softer.'

Exotic toilets seem to be part of many people's holidays.

xpander's picture

well remeber rome, it is told that bathrooms were some kinda social reunion place (watch discovery, some program about pompeya) so they are the masters no doubt.

Kurdle's picture

I really enjoy this website, it's quite informative. I Personally only shit in the morning then shower, so no bidet is needed nor do I have one. But It can be fun to sit my ass down on my bathroom counter and splash my brown ring in the sink. Thanks and Good logs to all

Stinkerbell's picture

I agree about the toilets in Germany. I was there when I was 15 on an exchange program. I stayed with a German family and much to my self-conscious teenage horror I discovered their toilets had a little poop shelf for which I could not fathom the purpose. The toilet paper was rough and rectangular. But the toilets in England, I agree are worse because they are wimpier. When I was 20 I stayed at a friend's family's home for a few days, and the morning after a huge meal & a night of drinking I took a huge dump in their toilet. I must have been in there 15 minutes trying to flush it. I was mortified, but said a silent thanks to God after it miraculously went down. I may have used something to help it along, but I can't remember. Also, on a side note, the hot water heaters over there suck too. A few years later the same friend's husband yelled at me because there was no hot water for the baby's bath. This was in the evening, I think I had showered in the late morning. Not my fault your hot water heater bites the big one, jerky. At least my friend stood up for me though. A note to travelers in France (or Paris, at least)---pay the money for those automatic toilets on the side of the road. I don't know what they call them, but it's like 50 cents, it cleans itself automatically after you leave, so you are guaranteed a comfortable, clean, private tour of doody.

Marco's picture

Lol I liked this page, gets you content automatically! I am italian and will never understand how the brits can do without washing after going to the toilet. I hear Americans are the same. I can't do without a wash and so I took to using the sink very early on. They have a hot tap and a cold tap, so you must fill the sink or face the wrath-of-the-tap.I use the first-the-cold-then-the-hot technique but I see most britons just fill the sink, however clean it looks. Fancy filling it after I used it to wash my backside LOL.
In italian we call them "Tarzanelli". As you know, Tarzan swings, so not washing after doing a poop will definitely populate your bum hole with "Little Tarzans" and then it can be said that you carry "Tarzanelli" with you. :-)

Jimmi's picture

Ok, I don't know if I understand the pooper that is like a hole in the ground. I mean does it have the treads on the side so you can get a good grip? That seems like it could easily be a messy experience.

Bunghole In the Jungle's picture
l 100+ points

I like the foot pedal controlled or sensor controlled hand-washing sinks. They make for a much more sanitary experience.

Marco--"Tarzanelli." I laughed until I cried.

Don't just sit there: Have a Farting Contest!

keeping the whack in tally-ho...

pink poison's picture

Are you guys so stupid that when you visit other countries the only thing you can come up with is examining every single public facility and then write a report about it? I must say I was quite surprised to see you couldn't figure out how to operate a bidet, where did you grow up, in a jungle? And then you have the courage to criticise others! These are just a few examples of your poor intellect "I made my way to the men's toilets, making sure I had some coins to give to the little old lady waiting outside" nobody ever stands outside Mc Donald's toilets waiting for money, you silly, couldn't you come up with something a bit more original and amusing? "I was there when I was 15 on an exchange program. I stayed with a German family and much to my self-conscious teenage horror I discovered their toilets had a little poop shelf... But the toilets in England, I agree are worse because they are wimpier. When I was 20 I stayed at a friend's family's home" Is this all you can remember? What the toilets were like? And Lauren, please, how can you say the whole of Italy stunk of piss? Maybe the smell of piss was coming from your pants that's why you thought it was everywhere. To conclude the toilets are not too small but your backsides too big! Try to eat something new (maybe your own crap) rather than dine at Mc Donald's everyday and you'll soon see the difference. Sorry guys, if you want to write about shit and toilets than you must get your fact straight in order to do it professionally!

Anomalous Coward's picture
k 500+ points

Der Cherman toilet papern is der roughen und toughen for der Aryan Ubermensch. Krappen in der krappenhausen on der little shelven thingen is fer der goot Cherman to looken atten der schittn before flushen der loggen. Ja. Vas heis das "bidet" thingen? Gottdammen Frenchen invention!

SamDamnit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

Pink Poison, did you come to The Poop Report, to read about the flora and fauna of Italy? Are you too dimwitted to know how to use a computer? If the site is called
The Poop Report, you can be pretty sure that it is reporting about poop. If you really want a traveloque, I suggest you google "tubgirl"
Sir SamDamnit!
The Emir of Crapistan

The Emir of Crapistan

JamieTeal's picture
l 100+ points

As convenient as the foot-operated sinks may seem, they are not handicapped friendly. If a person's legs are paralyzed, for example, how are they supposed to wash their hands?

I enjoyed a nice bidet in a hostel in Rome. It came at a convenient time, too, because I'd done a messy/painful poo and needed a nice water jet. First time I'd used a bidet. Showers with detachable handles that you can aim up the crack also do well in a pinch, if you have the time to strip.

Anonymous Coward's picture

Couldn't help but notice all the shitters were clean.

To Italy I Go!'s picture

Still laughing...this site was great! I have heard rumors of the toilet situation in Italy, so I wanted to do some research before my trip this summer. I found much more humor than I was expecting, thanks for it all!

parrott's picture

Italian toilets are the best in the world you can wash properly each part of the body not just shower. For a change we came first!

Miss Simone Scat's picture
k 500+ points

Great PoopReporting. I always like posts with pictures.
Producing waste since 1967

Producing waste since 1967

Davey's picture

I can tell you there is not one single public toilet in Lille, France, except for the automatic one, in front of which and thus preventing entry, was a vegetable stall. Why do French urinals have to be so public. British toilets are fairly good, but many town toilets may be closed and the public will be allowed to use facilities in pubs and restaurants because the local council will make a contribution to their maintenance.

Fraser's picture

The first time I visited the U.S. I was perplexed by the toilets and their incredibly high water level (i'm from Scotland), such potential for splashback with all that water!

I do believe you learn to drop your logs accurately if you're European though, to avoid the smearing but occasionally it does go wrong and you have to get the brush out. It does depend on the toilet too, some have a wider hole than others to make it easier.

Continental European toilets can be a surprise sometimes, I remember when I first came across the Dutch and German style "wading pool" that the turds fall into before being swept off into a British/Italian style hole. I don't care much for the design since it leaves the poop out in the open and it can get quite smelly but I figured maybe the Dutch just like to inspect their work.

The Accidental Poopist's picture

I have been living in Italy for 6 years now, and I always wondered why they have deep and sharply angular toilets scarce in water. I too hate having to use the "shit-stick" and having to flush at least twice to make sure I leave no unpleasant residue behind. A wider bowl with less steep angles filled with water is much better because it evades the poop from sticking to the walls of the toilet bowl. This type of toilet is more common in American and Japanese style toilets. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that Italian bowls can be impractical sometimes. However, the bidets are wonderful and in my opinion, make up for the impractical bowl. I am already sure that if I ever get to build my own house, it will have Italian style bidet (controllable jet-streaming nozzle like in that photo of the one you thought was a foot sink--actually it's not meant to make a bowl full of water in which you can wash your privates, you just have to make sure you turn on the water maximally and aim it at the desired anatomy), and American style toilet with strong, sturdy flushing mechanics. I figured I would probably have to shop longer and harder for the perfect setting, but it's my house and the bathroom should be optimal.

It's been surprisingly entertaining and informative reading this site, and I want to thank the author and also people who came to comment. Even pink poison made me laugh.

P.S. Tarzanelli...questo mi ha fatto morire. Lol.

stefano2's picture

I just got back from Italy and was shocked about the toilet thing. The urine smell of the Turkish style of toilets really got to me. The fact that most of the public toilets had a piece of paper in the bottom from someone previous which would not flush out of the toilet no matter how much water I put in was troubling. I too noticed the brush beside every toilet due to the poop smear problem. The whole reason that water was originally used in toilets was for sanitation and odor control - so what is with this? I decided that if I ever move there that I will install an American style toilet in my home. I really liked Italy but was just plain grossed out by the Italian toilet thing. They need some French style public pay toilets which wash the whole thing after each use.

toilet pic taker in italy's picture

Returned from Italy last week with a tour group. After spending the first 3 days constipated due to the fear of the 'squatter' toilets. . . we all began to relax and let each other know if there was a squatter, no seat, or a seat :))!!! I came to the conclusion that all those lovely Italian women have great legs because they are squatting all the time, their boots are to protect them from the splashing, and skirts are just for the ease of the squat. How in the world someone can poop in the squatter is beyond me... no wonder we americans are overweight, we don't have to worry about where our hineys are going!! Thanks for the site!! Thought I was the only one crazed about these things!

Not Verified's picture

This website is the latest sign of the apocalypse. It doesn't seem so bad.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

The seventh seal was broken and the poo monster raised his misshapen head that all might smell the fetidness of his breath as he roared his name aloud.

Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

Deja Poo's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

And he was sporting the mark of the beast: imbedded corn kernels.
Yo quiero Taco Bell.

Yo quiero Taco Bell.

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