Why Are There No Toilet Seats in Italy? – 3 Reasons

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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why are there no toilet seats in italy

 Italy is famous for its architecture and culture, but not everything is perfect. The bathrooms in Italy seem to cause so much confusion to tourists. Why are there no toilet seats in Italy?

Italians usually break the toilet seats in public restrooms, hence they eliminate the need for this accessory to save on maintenance. Also, you can’t find toilet seats because squat toilets are still popular, and Italians care about their hygiene.


Keep reading to know the reasons why Italians go seatless in the bathroom.

Why Don’t Italian Toilets Have Seats

There are a few reasons why Italians seem to have an aversion to toilet seats. Here are some of them.

1. Maintenance

squat-toilets-in italy 

Public toilets in Italy don’t usually have potty seats, even in Rome where modern fixtures and architecture are the norm.

Originally, the toilet seats were there, but most Italians stepped on them because they’re natural squatters. Instead of replacing each broken toilet seat frequently, the bathroom proprietors discard them entirely to save maintenance costs. 

More than the cost, the quest of looking for a toilet seat replacement can also be tricky in Italy. You’ll need to consider the different sizes and shapes of toilet bowls, which are quite plentiful.

When the proprietors fail to look for a toilet seat replacement, they eventually abandon the idea and resort to a seatless toilet at the end.

2. Squat Toilets Used to Be the Standard

toilets-in italy hotels

Squat toilets in Italy remain in old restrooms as part of its culture today. Compared to the regular toilet, a squat toilet is only built with a pan on the bathroom floor and a water cistern for flushing above. You have to squat over the hole, hence eliminating the need for a toilet seat.

Besides old buildings, you can also find squat toilets in Italy hotels. These types of toilets are more tiring to use than pedestal ones because your bum has no contact with the surface.

3. Hygiene


Another reason why Italians use a toilet without a seat is hygiene. Italians hate the idea of sharing the toilet seat with strangers. They’d rather squat than harbor some possible germs and diseases from other people or develop hemorrhoids from prolonged sitting. 

From this viewpoint, public restrooms in Italy find toilet seats unnecessary. Squatting doesn’t only promote sanitation but also offers comfort to those who are used to this position. Of course, you have to make sure that the toilet is sturdy enough to stand on.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to use public bathrooms in Italy?

First, learn how to ask where the bathroom is. Say “Dov’e il bagno?” to get the directions. For the ladies, look for a sign that says “signore”. Men’s bathrooms are named “signori.”

Since most Italian toilets don’t have seats, learn how to squat. Also, prepare to bring your toilet paper because most of these public restroom facilities don’t provide any. You can use a public restroom or pay to sit on a cleaner toilet.

Can I sit on the toilet without a seat?

Yes, you can sit over the toilet’s rim without a seat. However, it may feel less comfortable than having the actual seat on. You also need to maintain balance to keep yourself from slipping or falling into the bowl. 

How to use a squat toilet in Italy?

First, stand over the squat toilet, facing the hood. Next, find your balance. You can use the rails provided inside the cubicle. Once you’re ready, pull your pants down and squat with your knees bent and feet standing firm on the ground. 

Clean yourself after doing your business and flush using the handle in the toilet. Sometimes, the toilet will provide a bucket of water for flushing.


So, why are there no toilet seats in Italy? It all boils down to culture. Unlike other people, Italians don’t want to get in contact with the toilet, so they squat. You can practice squatting like them or pay to use a well-maintained commode.

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