Back from a weekend spent in one of the oldest and most popular hotels in Italy, the Sextantio in Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Aquila province, I felt the need to make a few considerations on the modern concept of the bathroom, perhaps today considered to be one of the most welcoming and comfortable spaces in the house, resembling the living room or bedroom.
Today we spend so much more time in the bathroom, and for this reason the amount of house space devoted to it has not diminished, while the materials used are the result of continuous research to find new technologies and new designs.
The bathroom often mirrors the culture of a population: country you go to, customs/bathrooms you find! The use of a bidet is prerogative of the Italian culture, as well as placing the toilet inside the bathroom rather than in a separate room.
Back to my personal experience, what struck me, and partly annoyed me, is the latest fashion arrived Italy of “dematerialising” the bathroom area to the point of almost completely eliminating the acoustic, olfactory and visual barriers, favouring the current trend developing on the other side of the Alps which seems to influence our Italian culture on various fronts. Indeed, in the Sextantio, a hotel that has just been restructured to replicate rural life of the 1900 in the villages on the mountains of Abruzzo, the toilet and bathroom are often included in the intimacy of the bedroom, surpassing the line that ensures some privacy for even the most close-knit couples. And perhaps it is no coincidence that the creator of the Sextantio, Daniel Kihlgreen, is of Swedish origin…
Anyway, it was fun to meet in the public areas of the hotel the poor guests like me, waiting to go back to their rooms for their turn to use the bathroom!
Images from Europa Concorsi.