The Ladies Room Doors of Italy: Part One

This spring, Cliff and I went on a bucket list trip to Italy. We had a blast, and part of my joy, of course, was looking for ladies room doors. Love the unisex door above. Sadly, I can’t remember where I found it.

Enroute, I found these murals inside the ladies room at Charles de Gaulle. Paris fashion at its best!

Once in Italy, our adventures began in Florence. Love the shape of the door to our bathroom at  the Hotel degli Orfi.

Here’s the door at Academia, where we had a delicious dinner with our friend and blog reader, Pat.

Our waiter brought us yummy lemocello at the end of the meal and popped into the picture.

Il Mercato Centrale in Florence is wonderful. Merchandise is sold on the outside and food in.

Be sure you go upstairs to find plenty of seating and lots of delicious options. AND that’s where you’ll find ladies rooms with some of the funkiest doors ever. The outside of one.

The inside!

We joined our tour group a few days after we got to Florence. Here’s the lobby bathroom door at the Hotel Orto de’Medici, where we relocated once the group arrived.

Cafes abound in Florence. We stumbled into La Botteghe a Donatello. I was delighted to find this elegant door leading to the bathrooms,

but I’m sure glad I didn’t stumble down the stairs directly behind the door. Wow. Not sure this would meet code in the United States.

We admired the famed doors of  Lorenzo Ghiberti on the Baptistery of the Cathedral. Bet Lorenzo could really rock some ladies room doors.

And look at these doors at the Pitti Palace.

Many of the doors in Italy have their doorknobs in the center.



Another Door

The first night with our tour group, we ate at a funky restaurant near our hotel. The restaurant uses cardboard signs as part of their decor (sounds wonky but it works). Here’s the door to the bathroom.

Most bathrooms in Italy have a button to push in an emergency, but yours truly didn’t know that yet. Thinking I was hitting the flush switch, I rang an emergency bell that resonated through the restaurant. The waiter quickly dashed in to turn it off. They must be used to silly Americans who have no clue.


Below you can see another type of alarm.

Here are the restroom signs at San Croce, where Michelangelo is buried.

And this is the bathroom door at cafe whose name I failed to record.Toilette

Say hello to this pretend creature crawling up the wall near the sink.ghecko

This is  how you flush in most Italian bathrooms. The big dot is for lots of water.

Another mode of flushing. Not quite so fancy as the circles above.


Most restaurant toilets do not have seats.

Cliff came out of a men’s room under-impressed with this urinal.

Speaking of urinals, our tour guide told us that blonde hair became fashionable in Renaissance Italy. Three guesses what women used for bleach.

We stopped at the Birreria in Florence for craft beers one night. Who would guess a beer place would have such lovely bathroom doors?
Beer Place

I saw these signs a few places. I assume they are retro.


The door was underwhelming to the ladies room at the Ristorante Il David, but I loved the graffiti that decorated the old board that ran through the wall.

The River Caffe (sic)

The bathroom at the cafe featured a hand held bidet. For more thoughts on the bidets I encountered, read this post from  a few weeks ago.

I liked the sprightly green lady at the Pitti Palace.

And the simple lines at the Museum of the Innocents. Orphans were housed here beginning in the 15th century. A visit to the orphanage is both sobering and touching.

The signs and doors at Il Grande Nuti

We finished dinner  there with torta della nonna. Grandmother’s cake!

Our group spent three magical days in San Gimignano.  The funky door at Ristorante Storico.

We stayed in San G (as it’s fondly called) at La Cisterna Hotel.

Not sure where I found these doors in San G.

I was pleased that I could read this Italian sign at a cafe.

One toilet

And here’s the door to that one unisex toilet.

Unisex door

The public WC in San G is built into a medieval wall of the city.


Another wall

San G at night! Love this place.

This door has a bit of a chaotic look

But the pasta was fab!

And for the finale, David.

My first thought is to write something related to this guy and bathrooms, but no. Standing under this magnificent work takes your breath and your words away.

I’m so grateful to Ken Ostrand, our tour leader, and Patrizia Harris Ceccarelli, the art historian Ken hired to lead us through the great art of Florence. And of course, to my traveling companion, husband Cliff. We managed a month together in tight but happy Italian quarters and had a blast. More doors to come in Part Two!

11 thoughts on “The Ladies Room Doors of Italy: Part One”

    1. You are welcome! Cliff gets a little tired of me rushing to the ladies room when we first enter a restaurant, but it’s such an adventure to see what I will find.

      On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 8:47 AM, Friend For The Ride wrote:



  1. How well this post relates to the mid-life ride! Bathroom location becomes more important as we have more birthdays. Might as well enjoy their offerings of art, architecture and whimsy. It looks like you had a wonderful trip with your husband… well done!


    1. Yes. I sure have to plan my morning tea drinking. Never allowed myself a second cup when we were with the tour group (especially). And the tea in Italy was excellent because they make the water plenty hot.


  2. Just reading this in mid August! So much fun to see all of these – some of which I saw as well. I love that you included our photobombed picture at Academia! Fun dinner and cute waiter! I enjoy your posts a lot. Sorry my trip to Ohio didn’t yield any pics but maybe I will have better luck next time. Keep on blogging and posting!


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