Tag Archives: Italian

Guest Blog: The History Behind The Bidet by Ponte Giulio

Tall Bidet for the elderly

Ponte Giulio Bidet

The bidet. A strange object shaped like a guitar

Some countries are introducing it in private homes (Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil) others such as Japan, already use it but integrated with the WC.

A journalist of an important British network stressed the utility of the bidet. The article she wrote was so successful that it led to a survey, where 30% of participants declared they had used it when on holiday. Many of those Britons though, never had the idea of having the bidet in their own home and many others, probably the remaining 70% of them, never even thought to use it even on holiday, considering it as a strange object and not very useful.

But why? The answer has historic reasons. The history of bidet and its diffusion are old and controversial. The name dates back to ponies, or better the position you adopt to ride it.

Going back to the history of bidet, the first time we came across it was in France, towards the end of XVII century and the beginning of the XVIII century. It’s possible inventor, Christophe Des Rosiers, installed it in the home of the French royal family, even though it was never used.

Only during the second half of 1700 the Queen of Naples, Maria Carolina D’Asburgo-Lorena wanted one in her private bathroom at the Caserta palace.

After the unification of Italy, the officials of the Savoys had to draw an inventory of the objects in the Palace and when seeing the bidet they described it as an “object for an unknown use and shaped like a guitar”.

During the early years of 1900, with the spread of water pipes inside private homes, the bidet along with the WC moved from the bedroom, where it used to be placed, to the bathroom.

As for the diffusion of the bidet it is used only in a few countries. Italy tops the chart, with 97% of its population using it according to a 1995 survey, followed by Portugal with 92%, France 42%, Germany 6% and the UK with 3% of users.

Some countries such as the USA even consider the bidet improper. It seems the first time Americans came across the bidet was in brothels during the Second World War, so they associate it to something weird and inappropriate.

Many non Italians admit having used it on holiday even for unusual purposes – fish tank, ice holder, shoes holder or dish washer – some countries are beginning to introduce it in their private homes (Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil) while others such as Japan, use a version of it which integrates it with the WC in private homes and hotels.

Too few people still value the utility of the bidet in our opinion. It is especially handy for the elderly, who have difficulty in taking a shower and could use the bidet and the washbasins as an alternative. The same applies to people with motion difficulties.

Ponte Giulio also offer the bidet among its wide selection of products. We offer higher bidets, 500 millimetres, to make it easier to use by non self-sufficient or aged people. Together with the hygiene, comfort and safety is granted with the provision of Ponte Giulio grab rails next to the bidet.

We are sure that little by little many more people in different countries will value the benefits of the bidet and will start using it.

This article has been supplied by our Italian partners Ponte Giulio,

designed2enable do not currently stock Ponte Giulio Bidets, but inquiries are welcome, via our contact page