The Bidet in Italy: Tradition, Hygiene, and Culture

The bidet, a distinctive feature of Italian bathrooms, boasts a fascinating history and deeply rooted use in the country’s culture. Contrary to popular belief, its origins are not Italian, but rather French. The word “bidet” derives from the French “bider,” meaning “to whisper,” a reference to the discreet water jet that characterizes it.

The invention of the bidet dates back to the 17th century, but its diffusion in Italy occurred only in the 18th century, thanks to the Neapolitan aristocracy. Queen Maria Carolina of Austria, in particular, requested one for her personal toilette in the Reggia di Caserta, helping to make it a fashionable item among the wealthy.

In the 20th century, the bidet experienced widespread diffusion throughout the country, especially thanks to the advent of running water and increased economic well-being. Its installation even became mandatory by law in some Italian regions, such as Piedmont and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Why is the bidet so important in Italy?

The use of the bidet in Italy is linked to various reasons:

  • Hygiene: The bidet is considered a more hygienic method for intimate cleansing than toilet paper, as it allows for more thorough and complete washing.
  • Health: The use of the bidet is particularly recommended for women, as it can help prevent infections and irritations.
  • Culture: The bidet has become an essential element of Italian culture, representing a symbol of care for personal hygiene and well-being.

How to use the bidet:

Using the bidet is simple and intuitive:

  1. Sit on the bidet positioned in front of the water jet.
  2. Adjust the water temperature and pressure using the appropriate controls.
  3. Wash the intimate area with the water jet.
  4. Dry yourself with a clean towel.

In addition to its traditional use for intimate cleansing, the bidet can also be used for other purposes, such as:

  • Washing feet
  • Washing children
  • Rinsing diapers
  • Taking a shower after waxing

The bidet in other countries:

While the bidet is widely used in Italy, its presence in other countries is less common. In some European countries, such as France, Portugal, and Spain, it can be found in some homes, but it is not a standard bathroom fixture. In other parts of the world, the bidet is still relatively unknown and its use is considered strange.

The bidet represents a distinctive element of Italian culture, a symbol of hygiene, health, and well-being. Its fascinating history and daily use make it a unique object that helps define the Italian lifestyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Italian Curse Words

Italian Curse Words

The Italian language, renowned for its lyrical beauty and expressive nature,

Grana Padano: The King of Italian Cheeses

Grana Padano: The King of Italian Cheeses

Grana Padano, also known as "Grana cheese," is one of the most iconic and

You May Also Like