Living in Florence Living in Florence

No rain on my laundry

Sunday, August 27, 2006

We were awakened this morning at around 6AM by flashes of lightning and the clamor of thunder. It was so loud that I thought a it was something much worse. The previsioni del tempo (weather forecast) has been predicting temporali (thunderstorms) almost every day last week, but they never came. Then, today after supposedly more people returned to Florence from their summer holidays, the temporali welcomed them back.

From my window, I watched one of our neighbors estende i panni (put out the laundry) on the clotheslines that hang above her terrazza (terrace). I would have done the same seeing as the sky was clear this afternoon. Besides, it hadn't rained since early this morning when it really poured down.

Then, within less than an hour, a temporale arrived and rained on her panni (clothes). After a half an hour of rainfall, she came back out and took in her panni. An hour later, another brief temporale passed and then the sky cleared again. I saw her go back out to estendere i panni in the early evening. I hope it doesn't rain for her sake.

Usually the summer is great when we have to fare il bucato (wash our laundry). It usually dries within a short period of time thanks to the hot air and sunlight. I used to think it was almost romantic to have our panni drying outside. I thought of all the energy we were saving and how much we were just like all the other Italian households.

But this summer, every time we put our panni outside, we had to keep a very close eye on them. The clouds roll in so quickly sometimes that we have to run outside to our terrazza to grab our clothes-rack and bring it inside before it rains.

I've heard some people say that they don't mind the extra rinse from the acqua piovana (rainwater), but I think that might only be true in the country. The air in the city is a little dirty with all the pollution, so the acqua piovana may not be that clean. For now, to prevent the risk of rain falling on our panni, we keep the clothes-rack indoors. Someday, we hope to get a dryer to prevent the hassle, but that will have to wait until we get our next apartment.

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August 2006
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