Ask any Italian housewife and she will tell you that mechanical driers are a menace designed to ruin the fabric of your clothes.
Even the spin in the washing machine should be avoided which explains why the RPM of my Danish washing machine is double as fast my
Italian washer. From an Italian point of view laundry should be washed at high temperatures with lots of detergent and hung outside
to air and dry. The laundry is not a statement against global warming but a sign of good housekeeping, which is all very well when
you don’t need to worry about a cold, rainy climate.
To me the outdoor clothes lines have become a symbol of Italy. Especially old cities like Napoli and Venice where colourful
garlands of socks and shirt sleeves crisscross the narrow alleys or calle’ that mark the paved back entrance of the houses, while
the front door face the canals. Along house fronts strands of laundry connect the windows belonging to one apartment allowing a
glimpse of the tenants’ private life to be visible in public. It is not hard to deduct age, family size and social status from the
items on a clothesline.
That makes clothesline studies so highly entertaining and recommendable as one of the free characteristic Venice sights.