As the clouds open up in Venice and across Europe again today, it reminds me of a curiosity that I first came across in Verona this Spring – umbrella bags!
Umbrella bags? What are they??
Well, imagine you are out shopping in the rain and obviously have a wet umbrella. Clearly, as you pop in and out of shops you need to fold your wet umbrella. Many Italian shops politely make umbrella stands available to leave your soggy umbrella at the door and avoid it dripping all over you. Its a lovely reminder of what used to happen in the UK and everyone adheres to the system. And unlike in British shops, your umbrella is miraculously still there even after a good long look round the shop! But some shops go one step further.
Now imagine that at the entrance to the shop there is not only an umbrella stand but also one with long thin plastic bags. Beside the bags is a notice politely asking customers to bag their wet umbrellas so as not to sprinkle water around the shop or over the products. Genius!
I’ve been offered an umbrella bag in a bookshop, several clothes shops and a museum too although I don’t know whether this is an Italian thing or a European thing? Either way, I’m a convert and don’t go anywhere now without my umbrella bag!!