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Clothes Hanging on Clotheslines in Italy | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Sunday, 03 November 2013 13:41

Here is a picture of a very common usage in Italy - drying your clothes on an outside line as opposed to using a dryer.
You can see this is a regular street corner where there is an Italian moped, or vespa parked on the sidewalk along with a mailbox (red).

Why do they do this?

Couldn't someone steal their clothes? I guess that is possible. I'm sure there are perverts that steal women's items on occasion. Although, much of the time the lines are hung up high and out of reach from pedestrians. The picture below is not a normal example.
I think the first thing at play is that most Italian cities are very cramped for space. The thought of buying a clothes-dryer in an already-tight living arrangement is not that appealing for many Italians.

The other thing to consider is that the cost of electricity runs about two to three times the cost that we are accustomed to paying here in the United States or Canada. That's because Italy has to import all of its electricity, it is not a producer of electricity. That may change in the distant future as I saw a lot of windmills and solar energy panels being used on many of the farming fields through Sicily.

The high cost of electricity is also another reason why they tend to be light on the air conditioning usage. They have air conditioners in Italy - especially in offices, public places, hotels, restaurants, etc. But the average home or apartment, depending on where they are, does not have central a/c. And if they do, they use it very sparingly.

We all know the use of a dryer is an energy hog. Using a dryer along with a washer or other electrical appliances at the same time might overload the circuit breaker in many Italian homes.

I think another thing at play is that Italians are more used to showing their emotions. They are very expressive and open and carry their emotions on their sleeves, so to speak. It could be a subtle psychological thing, but airing out their laundry for the world to see is not that big of a concern. And since they are all living closer together in tighter quarters their concept of personal space is smaller or tighter.

Not only is the Italian way better for the environment but it's also better for the clothes - it has to extend the life of the garment! I've had items rip, get tangled and mangled in my washer and dryer. And of course, it always seems like a sock tends to disappear from its counterpart every so often whenever I use my dryer.

Here is the picture below - feel free to leave a comment.

Clotheslines with clothes hanging in Italy, street scene



0 #4 Addicted2Italy 2013-11-07 11:33
Hi nVidia,

thanks for the post...Yes, I'm sure they do this in other places too like sri lanka and france, spain, etc.
0 #3 nVIDIA 2013-11-06 16:21
thanks for the posts. i saw srilanka is same to this :-? btw those cloth lines are very ugly to the city and country
+1 #2 Addicted2Italy 2013-11-04 00:32
Hi Karen,
Thanks for the post. I don't see too many homeless in Italy like I do here in some cities in the States. But I'm sure it could be a problem. I think most of the ones on ground level probably hang them inside.
Take care
0 #1 Karen Veltris 2013-11-03 19:20
I'd have to say being from Chicago if you saw that around here all that stuff would be stolen in a minute! Don't the homeless people go after that?

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