Detailed Guide About Italian Toilet (All You Need To Know)

After decades of international travel, I must admit that the question is completely understandable… “Why Italian toilet is so different?” It is not just a lame copy/paste joke; this is a real question for me!

So, I decided to write an article on the topic to make things easy for my readers. This can be considered a detailed Italian toilet guide (you will find more than you expected!).

So without wasting a second, let’s begin this guide and be ready to learn everything about Italian toilets.

What Is An Italian Toilet Look Like?

Italian toilet

Well, the first question raised in people’s minds is what Italian Toilet looks like. So let me tell you that an Italian toilet is a type of toilet initially used in Italy. It is similar to a French toilet but has some notable differences (like size, flusher handle, etc.).

First of all, the bowl is usually smaller than American toilets. This is because Italians tend to sit on their toilets and not squat.

They also tend to use less paper than Americans in the bathroom, so you’ll find fewer rolls of toilet paper in an Italian bathroom.

The flusher handle is also different from what you’re used to. It’s a long lever that stretches across the top of the tank instead of being attached to it by a chain or string. The lever is called a Maglione (pronounced man-EE-lig-own-ay). 

You pull this lever down with your right hand and push up on it with your left foot (or vice versa).

While holding onto the tank or wall for balance until all water has drained out of the bowl and into your toilet tank (or cistern).

How Does An Italy Toilet Work?

An Italy toilet works by creating a vacuum effect, which sucks the waste from your body into the bowl. It does this with a series of flushing mechanisms designed to keep the water level at a minimum so that you don’t have to wait for the Toilet to fill up before it can flush.

The first step in this process is when you push down on your Toilet’s handle. This opens a valve inside the tank (which is where all of your wastewater goes).

This allows water to flow out of your tank and into your bowl. Then, as you release the handle, a plunger comes up and closes off access to the opening so that no more water can go down there until you push down again.

This cycle continues until everything has been flushed away–and then some additional water flows through an overflow tube to ensure everything is gone before it dries up again.

How To Identify Toilets In Italy

Italian toilet

Italy has several machines that look like toilets, but they’re bidets. Toilets and bidets are not the same things and don’t work the same way. So how can you tell if a machine is a toilet or a bidet?

Bidets are usually found in bathrooms, not kitchens. They have handles that look like faucet handles (but don’t turn on the water).

You’ll often see them next to the sink. Bidets are designed to clean your backside after using the bathroom; it’s like washing off with a shower head instead of a bath.

So if you’re planning a trip to Italy, you need to know how to identify toilets in Italy.

Italy has several different types of toilets, and it’s essential to be able to identify them so that you can use them correctly. The first thing you should do is find out where you’ll be staying.

Most hotels will have English-language signs in the bathrooms, but if they don’t, it’s helpful to learn what some of the standard symbols for toilets look like:

  • A lavatory with a cross over it (this means “women”)
  • A toilet with a triangle over it (this means “men”)
  • A toilet with a circle around it (this means “disabled”)

Types Of Toilets in Italy

Italian toilet

Free Public Toilets in Italy

Public toilets in Italy are free to use and are located everywhere you go. You can find them in parks, museums, shopping centers, train stations, and more.

These places provide clean facilities for their customers and visitors without worrying about paying anything or leaving their items unattended. In contrast, they use the toilet facilities on site.

Paid Public Toilets

Paid public toilets are the most common type of Toilet in Italy.

The fee is typically very low, but it can still burden some travelers who don’t have much money or may not want to pay for something they can find for free elsewhere.

These toilets can be found in parks, museums, hotels, restaurants, and cafes around Italy.

Toilets in Museums and Main Attractions

Italy has its unique style of toilets, which you’ll find at the country’s many museums, attractions, and other historical sites.

These toilets are generally spacious, with plenty of room for visitors to move around.

They often contain sinks where you can wash your hands after using the toilet or washing up before entering the building.

They may also include tables where you can sit down with other visitors while waiting for your tour guide or viewing time.

In addition to having modern plumbing fixtures such as flushing mechanisms and waste disposal systems that make them easy to use, these types of toilets will also have hand dryers installed within them. S

o guests don’t have to worry about carrying wet towels around with them all day long.

Toilets in Cafes and Restaurants

Squat and regular flush toilets are standard in cafes and restaurants throughout Italy. They are usually located on the ground floor or basement level, so you will not have to go up or down any stairs to get there.

You may also find that these public toilets have signs indicating that they are for women only or men only. If you see a sign that says “men” or “women,” you should use the Toilet indicated by that sign.

Toilets in Train Stations

If you need to use the bathroom in Italy, you can use the toilets at the train stations. The toilets in train stations are spotless and well-equipped with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap, and a sink.

You may also find vending machines that sell toilet paper and other bathroom essentials if unavailable at the station.

The public toilets in train stations are not always easy to find, but you can be sure they will be available. They are always located near the station’s entrance and sometimes even inside.

They are usually very clean and well-maintained, but it is advisable to go before your trip or have some tissues with you just in case.

Toilets on Trains and Ferries

The most common type of toilet you’ll find on trains and ferries is a squat toilet. This type of Toilet has two or three holes for your feet to rest on, and some even have a small step-up platform to help you reach the hole.

A lid or seat usually covers the hole, so you won’t have to worry about anyone seeing anything they weren’t expecting. 

Italian Bathrooms in Hotels and Apartments

When traveling in Italy, you’ll often find yourself in a hotel or apartment with a bathroom that’s very different from what you’re used to.

The toilets are often different; the showers can be tiny and have no curtains or doors.

Here are some of the most common types of toilets you’ll find in Italy hotels and apartments:

  • Bidet Toilet – This is a toilet and bidet combined into one. It’s a great option if you want to get clean while using the bathroom!
  • Bidet Toilet with Seat – This is similar to the bidet toilet, but it has a seat so you can sit down while cleaning yourself up.
  • Washlet Toilet – This is just like a bidet toilet with a seat, but it’s much more luxurious because it features heated seats and warm water spray options.
  • Tankless Toilet – This is one of my favorites! It doesn’t have any tank at all—instead, it uses gravity to flush away your waste straight into the sewer system below ground level.
  • Standard Toilet – You’ve probably seen these before on airplanes or other public places where there isn’t room for anything else; they’re just standard toilets without bells.

How To Flush Toilets In Italy

Italian toilet

Flushing toilets in Italy can be tricky, but you’ll have no trouble once you know what to do. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to flush toilets in Italy:

Step 1: First, take the handle on the left side of the Toilet and pull it upward. This will release water into the bowl and fill it up.

Step 2: Next, push down the handle on the right side of the Toilet. This will open up a trap door at the bottom of the bowl.

This allows water from outside to come in and push everything out into an underground pipe system.

This process can take several minutes depending on how much liquid has been deposited inside the bowl previously (i.e., if someone has already flushed before you).

Step 3: When all liquid has been removed from inside this trap door area, which should happen within about four minutes at most (and no longer than eight minutes).

Then pull up again on both handles simultaneously until they lock into place again.

This will close off any additional holes where water might leak back in through if left open too long without cleaning.

For more detailed process read: How To Flush Toilet In Italy 

Also good to read:

How to Flush a Toilet for Dummies

How To Flush English Toilet

How To Flush Toilet On Bus

Why No Toilet Seats In Italy?

You might have heard that there are no toilet seats in Italy. But why? There are a few different explanations for why there are no toilet seats in Italy.

One explanation is that it’s a cultural difference between Italians and Americans.

In the United States, we tend to be very private about our bathroom habits and take great care to hide our privacy from others.

In Italy, however, this is not the case—it’s considered rude to close the door when going to the bathroom, so people generally don’t worry about covering up their toilet seat.

Another explanation for why there’s no toilet seat in Italy comes from an old Italian proverb: “If you have to go, you have to go.”

This proverb means that if you need to use the restroom while out with friends or family members at a restaurant or other public location, then you should go ahead and do it.

Otherwise, they’ll think you’re being rude by holding off until later (or never).

For more info read out my article on Why there is no toilet seats in italy?

Second Toilet In Italy

Although you may have heard of the “second toilet” phenomenon in Italy, it’s not a joke. This second Toilet is commonly known as Bidet.

In Italy, the bidet is not a secondary toilet but a vital bathroom part. It is often the first thing you see when you enter the bathroom and the last thing you see when you leave.

It is no wonder that there are so many different types of bidets available today. From wall-mounted models to portable units, they all have their benefits.

So what exactly does a bidet do? Well, it can help you feel fresher and cleaner than ever before! The bidet will cleanse your bottom with a gentle jet of water after using the Toilet to ensure you’re squeaky clean.

This helps prevent irritations caused by bacteria or other microscopic organisms in your colon.

Bidets are also great for those who suffer from hemorrhoids or other gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or constipation.

These ailments can make it challenging to get up from the Toilet without feeling sore afterward or even cause discomfort during bowel movements themselves. 

Bidets offer an easy solution for those who suffer from these conditions by helping them stay comfortable while relieving themselves at home after work or school each day.”

To know about about it read Why people use the second toilet in Italy?

Bidet Toilet in Italy

Bidet toilets are famous in Italy. They are often used as a replacement for toilet paper and can be found in public bathrooms, hotels, and restaurants.

These toilets have a nozzle that sprays water on the user’s genital area after they do their business.

Bidets are a big part of Italian culture and history. Bidets have been used in Italy for hundreds of years.

In the past, people mainly used bidets to wash their hands after using the restroom. Nowadays, they’re also used to cleanse the genital area after using the Toilet and before putting on clothing or undergarments.

Italians still use bidets today because they’re a convenient way to stay clean!

But bidets have one major drawback: they’re not widespread in the United States yet, so if you want to use one, you have to go out of your way to find one. Luckily for you—and for the rest of us who don’t want to give up our bidet habits—there are plenty of options.

You can find them at some hotels and spas or even install them yourself if your bathroom is big enough (they usually come with instructions).

For more details read: How to use bidet toilet in italy (Detailed Guide)

Toilet Paper in Italy

In Italy, toilet paper is not a given—it’s a luxury.

You’re more likely to find it in a hotel than in a public restroom.

This isn’t because Italians are stingy or don’t believe in cleanliness. They’re known for being very hygienic people. It’s just that they have a different approach to personal hygiene than other cultures.

For example, instead of using toilet paper, many Italians use bidets(as I have mentioned above) and wipes made from cloths called “panni” or “asciugamani.”

The idea is that water cleans better than paper and that using water for cleaning yourself is more sanitary than paper products.

But this doesn’t mean Italians don’t use toilet paper—far from it! They prefer not to use it when they go out in public places like coffee shops or restaurants (where there are no bidets).

Toilet paper in Italy is a bit different from what you might expect. It’s more like tissue paper than the toilet paper we’re used to.

It’s not uncommon for Italians to use bidets instead of toilet paper. While most people in America think that bidets are just an unnecessary luxury, I must say Bidet have some pretty serious benefits: 

They can help prevent hemorrhoids and other related health problems by cleaning out all traces of fecal matter from your anus.

They can help you stay clean by making sure there’s no poo left behind after wiping, and they can even save water by using less than regular toilet paper would require.

On top of all that, bidets are super easy to install yourself (if you’ve got enough space for one), so there’s no reason not to try one out.

For more knowledge read: Do people use Toilet paper in Italy? (Detailed Guide)

How To Help Small Kids Using Public Bathrooms in Italy

If you’re traveling with small kids in Italy, you know how important it is to ensure they can use public bathrooms without any problems. Here are a few tips:

  • Before you leave the hotel, take your little one to the bathroom and let them practice using the Toilet. You could even practice flushing and washing hands together. This will help them feel more comfortable when they go on their own later!
  • If there’s a door on the stall, open it so that your child can see what’s happening inside. If there isn’t a door, tell your child which stalls have doors and which don’t so they can stay away from those at all costs!
  • Make sure you always have some toy or game in your purse or backpack so they have something to do while waiting for their turn at the sink or Toilet.
  • If your child has trouble staying still while waiting their turn in line for a stall or sink, try having them stand on one foot until it’s their turn instead of walking around impatiently—this will give them something to focus on and keep them from getting too antsy while waiting for their turn!

How To Use Sinks in Italian Public Toilets

Italians are very proud of their public toilets. They have a long tradition of being clean, well-maintained, and aesthetically pleasing.

To make sure that you don’t offend your hosts, it’s essential to follow some simple rules when using sinks in Italian public toilets:

  • Always wash your hands with soap before touching the sink controls or faucets.
  • Turn on the water with your elbow or forearm at least six inches away from the spout (this will prevent splashing).
  • Turn off the water with your elbow or forearm at least six inches away from the spout (this will prevent splashing).
  • Dry your hands thoroughly on a paper towel before leaving the bathroom, so you don’t get water spots on anything else.

How To Find Public Toilets in Italy

Finding a public toilet in Italy can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips:

  • The easiest way to find a public bathroom is to ask someone. You can do this at any restaurant or café, and they will most likely know where the nearest public toilet is.
  • Another option is to use Google Maps on your phone. You’ll have to download the map beforehand, but once you do, you should be able to find any bathrooms within walking distance using this method.
  • You can also try looking in the local newspaper or calling city hall (with an Italian phone number!)
  • You can also look for signs saying “toilette” or “wc” (which is short for water closet). These signs should be written in Italian, but if they aren’t, point at the sign and ask someone who works there if they know what it means. They’ll probably be able to help.

How To Change Diaper in Italy Public Toilets

Changing diapers in public toilets is not as easy as it seems. You first need to find a toilet with a wall or stall that entirely separates the front and back of the room.

This will make changing diapers much easier because you won’t have to worry about cleaning up after your baby while changing them.

If you can’t find a toilet like this, you’ll need to change your baby on the floor in front of the Toilet.

To do this, place an old newspaper or magazine under them and lay one hand on each side of their waist, so they don’t roll off onto the floor.

This way, if they roll over while changing them, they won’t fall onto anything hard like concrete or tile floors—just soft materials like newspapers or magazines!

Once your baby is changed and dressed again, it’s time for cleanup! If there are no trash cans nearby (or if there are but they’re full), use plastic grocery bags instead!

Place all used diapers into one bag and tie them tightly before throwing them away in another trash can somewhere nearby (like near a park bench).

Tips For Using Toilet in Italy

Italian toilet

You’re in Italy, and it’s time to go to the bathroom. You know that the Toilet will be a squat toilet—but then what? Here are some tips for using toilets in Italy:

Don’t Expect Toilet Paper

It’s not a big deal if you forget to bring toilet paper, but having a roll on hand is a good idea.

If you’re like me, the thought of going into an unfamiliar bathroom without any toilet paper is scary—even if I’m visiting my best friend in Italy, and she has assured me that there will be plenty of TP available (she was right). 

So I took a little extra precaution and brought along my roll. It makes me feel better just knowing it’s there.

Travel With a Roll, Though

The most important thing to remember about toilet paper in Italy is that you can’t always find it.

As the Italians use less and less toilet paper (a.k.a., “parchi” or “parks”), it’s becoming harder and harder to find in public restrooms.

Flushable toilet paper isn’t as standard here—even if they’re new, they may not be accepted by your system (and could clog up your plumbing).

Plus, it may be more expensive than regular old TP! But don’t worry: It’s a good idea to travel with a toilet paper roll just in case you need it for something else.

Toilet Paper Goes in The Bin, Not Down The Loo

Another thing to know about Italian toilets is that you can’t flush toilet paper. They have a bin for that purpose, usually on the floor beside the Toilet.

To use it, you’ll have to scoop up any used toilet paper in your hand and drop it into the bin. A simple enough task if you’re at home or in a public bathroom where there’s plenty of space between yourself and other people. 

Another tip for ensuring those messy situations don’t happen baby wipes! While most hotels provide them nowadays (at least in Europe), my advice is to bring your own just in case they don’t exist or aren’t available somewhere along your journey through Italy.

Learn How To Flush Without a Handle

It’s common in Italy to find a toilet with no flush handle. Some bathrooms are equipped with a chain, others have buttons on the wall, and others still use a lever that you typically find in an old-school American-style toilet. 

To use these alternative flushing mechanisms, hold the button or pull the lever until you see water come into your toilet bowl.

The water will disappear shortly afterward because there is no way to stop it from draining out of your Toilet when you’ve pressed one of these buttons/chains/levers.

Not All Squat Toilets Are Created Equal

Not all squat toilets in Italy are created equal. Some have a seat; others do not; some have handrails, but most do not, and some are more comfortable to use than others.

You can generally assume that the Toilet in your hotel room or Airbnb will be equipped with both a seat and a handrail for those who prefer them. 

There are also toilets at gas stations and toll plazas on highways and bridges where there is less traffic (and therefore fewer people waiting) that tend to have more comfortable squatting surfaces.

When it comes down to which type of Toilet you should use while traveling in Italy, this depends mainly on how much time you plan on spending in Italy:

I would recommend trying out both types during your trip so that when the time comes for you to return home, you’ll know what kind of Toilet is right for you.


In the end, I hope that this guide about Italian Toilets helps you know more about the Italian culture related to how to use toilets. If you still have any queries feel free to comment, and I will resolve them.


What is in an Italian bathroom?

An Italian bathroom typically includes: a toilet, sink, bidet, heated towel rack and shower or bathtub.

How do you sit on a bidet?

Facing the wall or faucet, straddle bidet and sit. Adjust water pressure and temperature for personal comfort.

Is it illegal to not have a bidet in Italy?

No, it is not illegal to not have a bidet in Italy. It is a common fixture but not mandatory by law.

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