In Venice, you will notice that it is a common scene to find laundries hanging on a clothesline outside of the house. Sometimes, the clotheslines are hanging across a narrow canal or alley. Other times, they are hanging right next to the windows or small balconies. The Venetians love line drying their clothes under the sun.
If you pay close attention to the clotheslines, you will notice their garments are arranged in color sequence in accordance to the type of garments. For example, white bed sheets are classified together, blue jeans are grouped together, black pants are grouped together, pink dresses are grouped together, and yellow kitchen towels are grouped together. Finally, all of them will be arranged in color sequence from dark to bright color.
Now, you’re thinking, “Hmm… Neat! Why would the Venetians do that?”
The fact is, laundry is the state of the art itself to the Venetians. In the past, people did not own laundry machines. The local people started to develop a trend of line drying their garments in a unique way, which later became a tradition that was carried over to this generation.
One fine morning, my husband and I were strolling around Venice with our friend, Marco Secchi, a professional photographer who was born and raised in Venice. At one corner of an alley, Marco suddenly stopped and pointed at a clothesline hanging above us. Marco asked, “Did you notice the color sequence of these garments hanging on the clothesline? It is not well sorted.” We agreed and nodded. “Yes, it’s not sorted neatly like the rest of the neighbors. Does that mean something to you, Marco?” We asked. Marco later explained, “That is how the Venetians tell if you are a rookie or a newcomer in their neighborhood.” Marco explained further how a Venetian would hang their garments on the clotheslines, which I have described above.
In most countries, people are embarrassed to hang their garments in a public space. But, not to the Venetians, to them it is an art! Isn’t that interesting and one of the unique characteristics of Venice??