Friday, November 01, 2013

NO HANGING OUT THE LINEN, O



Lines of washing strung high up across ancient, narrow alleyways are one of the sights of Italy that has long delighted tourists. Such a view does not, however, delight the town councillors of Catania, who have just passed a new bylaw banning the hanging out of washing in the old centre - the area surrounding the Parco archeologico greco-romano. 

The aim of the law, say councillors, is to give the area more dignity and to allow everyone to enjoy its true beauty. Under the regulation, air conditioners and tubes that can be seen from the street are also banned from balconies.

Residents of the area, many of whom are elderly, are, unsurprisingly, not happy:  many of them have lived there all their lives and have hung their washing out in the open in the time-honoured way for as long as they can remember. The task is part of their daily interaction with others. And, if they can't hang the washing outside, how, they want to know, are they to dry it? They say their small houses get too humid to dry washing indoors and they also want to know how they are expected to cope with the summer heat if their air conditioners are to be banned.

What do you think? Do you like to see the cheerful lines of washing or are they an eyesore?

The story made me think of this English folk song:


11 comments:

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I am with the residents , leave it alone , it is how it always has been and should remain ,, HANG IT OUT :-) xx

Jenny Woolf said...

I think it is absolutely frightful to ban the washing! cities exist for the people in them, not for tourists to amble around as if in a museum. What a sad approach to take.

That's a nice old tune which my mother used to sing to me.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Absolutely with you, Anne. xx Hi, Jenny. I agree totally. I used to sing the song with my mum, too!

Lee said...

I really can't comment...because things are so different here. My cabin is on a 3 acre property...so there lots of area to hang my laundry out in the sunshine and breezes....a totally different way of living.

How are these people supposed to dry their washing if not that way? Not everyone can afford a dryer, let alone the power charges these days...and there's nothing quite like sunshine and air-dried laundry!

In truth, the tourists probably love seeing the old ways remain...that's why they go there.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lee, I agree.

Sean Jeating said...

Those councellors are – I am going to put it very politely now – fucking idiots.

Well, I am but an uncivilides villager. :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Very polite, Sean!

RNSANE said...

I love seeing the wash hanging out...it's always bright and colorful in the windows, even in Portofino or Venice, or Villefranche, France on the Riviera. It kind of adds to the charm.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Carmen. I like seeing it, too.

Liz said...

Of course they must hang it out!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Absolutely, Liz.

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