Traditions

As a storyteller and traveler, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring the charming and historic towns of the Mediterranean, and one tradition that has caught my eye is sun-drying clothes. In Dalmatia, we have a specific word for sun-drying clothes. It’s “tiramola” – a rope pulled over pulleys used for drying clothes or rigging a boat.
Despite its Italian roots, the tradition does not have a specific word in Italy for this way of drying laundry.
Instead, the phrase “tiramola” was used by locals in Dalmatia to refer to household tasks and the daily practice of drying laundry.

When I walk through the streets of the old towns, I can’t help but look up and admire the colorful clothes that dance over the streets, signaling that life persists inside these stone houses.
It’s a beautiful and simple sight that reminds me of the importance of tradition and the simple joys of life.
But drying clothes on “tiramola” also has practical benefits. It helps preserve clothing and makes them last longer by reducing the use of electric or gas-powered dryers. Plus, the natural warmth of the sun and wind helps disinfect clothes and reduce wrinkles, making them more hygienic and easier to iron.

What’s fascinating about the tradition of “tiramola” is that even the way you hang your clothes can tell a story. For example, if you hang your clothes with the sleeves facing down, people will know that you are from the countryside. But if you hang them with the sleeves facing up, people will know that you are from the city.

As European urban centers continue to rapidly change, strolling around Dalmatian old towns and looking at the clothes drying on the “tiramola” is a refreshing reminder of the importance of tradition and the beauty of a simpler way of life, where even the most mundane tasks can be a source of joy and connection.

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