January 2012

The artistry of the Italian clothesline

by Rebecca Bricker on January 25, 2012

Italian ClotheslineIn Italy, hanging wash on a clothesline is an acquired skill. It can be a high-wire act that requires engineering, dexterity and certainly reliable clothespins. If done well, it actually can be an art form.

Italian Clothesline

Almost every apartment I looked at in Florence had a washer, but NONE had a dryer. I rented an apartment in a modern building that had a metal drying rack on the balcony – a great concept, except that on a windy day, bras and panties could easily take flight. (Yes, that’s a bra – not mine – that landed on a railing across the street from me.) I prudently moved my drying rack indoors.

The authentic Italian way to dry your laundry is to hang it out the window. The more advanced drying systems operate with lines, on pulleys, that run along the outside wall of the building and connect from one window to the next.

Italian Clothesline








And if you’re friendly with your neighbor across the street, there’s another method that defies gravity and modesty – but it’s a great way to dry your sheets.

Laundry day in Venice

~Clothesline as high art, Venice