As a rule, I never cared much for bathroom humour.

That is, until my first visit inside a real Roman Bathroom.

In fact, it was so life altering that I had to put pen to paper and document the event, almost in it’s entirety….


Even after six years, I still cannot…

….’let it go.’

Here’s what happened:

On our first trip to Italy in 2008, after we checked into our room at the Hotel Bolivar, I was in for some unexpected surprises when I entered our bathroom,

First of all, there was a bidet next to the toilet.

Now, it wasn’t one of those fancy types, it was more of the sitz bath sort.

Nevertheless, it was like having a new toy to play with.

The bidet actually come in handy but not as you might expect. Seeing as it had both a hot and cold faucet, I found it ideal for rinsing out laundry.

And as for Frank, he ultimately found use for the bidet as his own personal porcelain ashtray.

The next unusual thing about the bathroom that I would like to write about was that it had a fully enclosed shower stall and a bathtub.

The strange thing about this was that the fully enclosed shower stall was located inside the bathtub.

Yes, you read correctly.

In fact, I’ll repeat it for you:

The fully enclosed shower stall was located inside the bathtub.

And a very noisy shower stall it was too.

Anytime you opened or closed the glass doors, it would emit a loud:


Of course, if anyone wanted to take a bath, you would have to leave the shower stall doors open, or you wouldn’t have anyplace to put your feet and legs.

Moving on…

There was an appliance hanging on the wall, that I could not figure out.

It looked like a ladder of fluorescent bulbs with about four rungs, each rung about the size of a vacuum cleaner hose. This appliance had an electrical cord, but when I plugged in in, nothing happened. I’m still not sure if it was a heating lamp or maybe a towel warmer. All I know is that the maids used it for storing the toilet paper by stuffing several rolls between the rungs.

That worked quite well actually.

But the biggest shocker of all…

…was the toilet itself.

There was no handle to flush it.

There was no button, sensor, electronic eye or any other automatic thingy that I could find.

And to be honest with you, I felt very silly over not being able to figure out how to flush the darned thing.

I was getting desperate enough to call the front desk when I noticed there was something wrong with the wall next to the toilet.

One of the bathroom wall ceramic tiles had become loose and was sagging to the right.

And of course, as I wedged it back into place.

…. the toilet flushed.

No… I’m not making this up.

Yes, I do have quite the imagination, however, it would never occur to me to make up a story about how I learned to flush a toilet in the eternal city of Rome.

That would just be too silly…

…even for me!