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finding a clean public toilet in Rome

 

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Where can you find a clean public bathroom in Rome? Very good question...
There's some jolly nice restaurants in Rome, but visit their bathrooms in the middle of your meal and you could quite lose your appetite. Most public toilets in Rome are pretty disgusting. We won't go into details...

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Indeed, public lavatories are pretty far and few between in Rome, and those there are, are either filthy or have some old hag sitting outside with a collection tray, who you're expected to tip. However, RomeBuddy is here trying to compile a list of cleanish public bogs in Rome where you won't be expected to pay for the privilege of wading through someone else's urine. The catch is that not all of them are in restaurants.

Oh, and by the way, your chances of catching something nasty off a toilet seat in Rome are slim, because in fact you'll be very lucky if you can even find a public toilet that actually has a seat on it.

In some cases, you won't even recognise the toilet when you see it - It's just a small hole in the floor in the middle of a flat ceramic square that looks like the floor of a shower. Romebuddy has never yet stooped (!) to using one of these, so I'm afraid I can't advise on what the technique is supposed to be here. As they don't flush, I imagine you're supposed to aim your offerings carefully, or manually push them near and down the whole afterwards. Although in the ones I've seen, the previous occupants had not bothered to do this. And they call Italy the cradle of the Rennaissance, the birthplace of all that's beautiful in art and life...

The best 'public' toilet I've found so far wasn't actually public - It's a staff lavatory in a hospital. The public toilet in the same hospital is disgusting, but here are the directions to the clean one reserved for the doctors:
At the north end of Via San Gallicano in Trastevere, facing north, either the last or last-but-one door on the left is the back entrance to the hospital. Once inside, pass through the entrance hall with the glass-topped collection chest in the middle of the floor, and take the first turning on the left.
Look again to your left and you'll see the doctor's bathroom door. It's nice in there - cloth hand-towels ironed and folded over the rails, clean floor, mirror etc. I have no qualms about using it - shame on them for leaving the public washroom in such a filthy condition!
Sometimes the first door inside is closed though, and you can't get in without drawing attention to yourself. Obviously you must be discreet and try to look as if you know where you're going, or they'll throw you out.

We might also add at this point that although Italian men are probably the most snappily dressed and well-groomed on the planet, I have never seen an Italian wash his hands after visiting the toilet. perhaps then it is wiser to quickly adapt the local custom of kissing when you meet someone, rather than shaking hands. It's interesting to note that the above-mentioned ironed and folded hand-towels in the doctor's toilet did not appear used. Either it was early in the morning, or...

That's all we have for now, apart from McDonalds of course, which now has about twenty restaurants around town. McDonalds washrooms are generally pretty clean, and they're unlikely to throw you out, but here again, be discreet, and at least try to make it look as if you're a paying customer.

One of those automatic "push'n'go" cubicles like they put up in Leicester Square in the 80's has been sighted at the side of the Ostiense, an urban dual-carriageway near the Basilica San Paulo, so good luck crossing the road to get to it...

One of our Canadian correspondents reports that 'Taverna Parione' is a heck of a good restaurant on Via di Parione 38-39, (behind the church in Piazza Navona), and perhaps more importantly as far as we at RomeBuddy are concerned, has decently clean bathrooms. It's closed on Mondays though, but then again, so is most of Rome...

           

 

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