The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

The ‘Italy Towel’ is that funny piece of cloth handing from your Korean hotel’s towel rack

Written By: herbrunbridge - Oct• 08•12

Most of our Korean hotels favored hot pink Italy Towels

It’s funny how sometimes the most common items are never discussed in travel guides. The Korean “Italy towel” is one of them. Every hotel in Korea, it seems, has one of these rough-toothed cloths handing from the towel rack or sitting rolled up in a basket. What’s it for? It’s there to help defoliate dead cells from your skin. Here’s the story:

Italy towels” are actually mittens that are worn, generally after showers, and to exfoliate skin cells by vigorously scrubbing the skin. Generally, a body cleanser is rubbed on them first, but not always. Sometimes, it’s just water. And with a good hard scrub, dead skin really does come off! The first place we saw this technique used was at the legendary Sazanka massage parlor in Bangkok, and we’ve been believers ever since.

“Italy Towels” in Korean Hangeul script

Back to Korea. You won’t get mitts in your hotel. Instead, you get what’s known as the “long Italy towel.” So go ahead and try it: first shower yourself clean. Then put some liquid body cleansing gel on the Italy towel, and start with something like your forerams. You’ll be impressed with what comes off.

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