Are you visiting Italy, and wondering if it’s safe to drink from the fountains in Rome?
Should you be packing a water bottle on your trip to Italy?
The quick answer is easy: yes.
Pack a reusable water bottle for your Italian holiday because drinking from the water fountains in Rome is one of the best things about Rome.
Why is drinking from fountains so great in Rome?
Well, saving money is always a bonus. Buying 5 bottles of water to get you through a summer day will help the food budget.
Plus not using
But mostly it’s for the flavour. Tap water in Rome tastes amazing. Not so in Florence, but the rest of the country is pretty good too.
So having a water bottle to carry around with you makes sense. Especially if you’re like me and get sunstroke and dehydrated pretty easily.
With friends and family visiting in August I worry about all the time we’ll be spending outside.
They’ll want to see things like the Roman Forum, the Colosseum or the piazza full of sculptures Florence.
What’s the common denominator on that list of must sees? They’re all outside with very little shade.
To ensure that we’ll enjoy these moments I have invested in several sun hats. Having your own personal shade helps a great deal.
And I have a metal easy to carry water bottle I bring with me everywhere.
Why carry it around all day? Because there are seemingly thousands of water fountains all over Rome, and Italy, plus it’s safe to drink from all those fountains.
The water is safe, so what type of water bottle is best?
For a reusable water bottle, I like metal for the coldness it gives off after it has been filled. They’re easy to pack any time of the year and not to heavy when empty, you can get lighter plastic ones as well though.
This is a few water bottles suggestions by the Telegraph. Mine is similar to the Jerry bottle.
Carry the water bottle around with you as you wander through small towns, big cities, ancient ruins, and city parks.
But why is it Really worth packing yet another thing for your trip to Italy? Will it get used?
Yes, yes it will. Because throughout Italy you will find drinking fountains, called ‘fontanella’.
In Rome, they are also called ‘nasone’ meaning bignose. A true blessing when in Rome on a hot sunny day.
Bonus: the water tastes amazing, is clean, and is oh so cold!!
So it is Safe to Drink from Fountains in Rome
Most cities in Italy have drinking fountains for the public. Rome has the most, around 2500. There are apps that show where to find them, which are the nicest, etc. I’ve never actual used an app though, it seems unnecessary as at every turn there is another fountain.
Be careful in Florence though, it is one city where there are few drinking fountains. There are some, one is at the viewpoint in the Giardini Boboli. I end up buying at least one bottle of water a day when in Florence.
Bring a Water Bottle to Italy for the Roman Water Fountains
The reason that Rome and the surrounding area have so many fountains begins with the amazing aqueduct systems put in by the Roman Empire.
Most drinking fountains were first introduced in the 1870s to provide clean fresh water to the residents of Rome.
At one time there were 5,000 nasoni in Rome. Now there is running water in all residential buildings so the number has decreased by half to around 2,500.
The water coming out of a nasone is checked to see if it is fit for human consumption multiple times a year. If a fountain is not safe to drink from, then it will have a sign saying ‘acqua non potabile.’
Sculptures that are fountains recycle the water and you don’t want to drink that. An exception to this rule is in Rome at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. The 1629 ‘Fontana della Barcaccia’ by Pietro Bernini, father of the more famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
This fountain has a place to step on, so you can drink from the spout at the bow of the boat. But it is only the one spout, none of the other spouts are safe to drink from. A sign saying ‘acqua potabile’ means the water is safe to drink.
Ordering Water When Eating Out
Despite having all this amazing tasty water, one thing you will never see is a jug of tap water at a restaurant.
You will always have to purchase bottled water at a restaurant. But water isn’t too expensive, a litre is less than 2 euros.
Normally restaurants use glass bottles that will be reused, so if you don’t finish the water you don’t take it home with you, unless it’s plastic, then go ahead and take it with you.
Drinking lots of water? You’ll want to know the best Spot To Find Toilets
After drinking all that water you’re wondering where the toilets are right? The obvious answer is at the art gallery, museum, and restaurant.
Otherwise, your best option is the bar. Order a cafe (espresso) and you’re free to use their bathroom. Unfortunately, gelaterias and places that sell pizza by the slice do not have public toilets.
Being a tourist is exhausting, thirsty work, especially in the summer. Carry a reusable water bottle around with you for easy access to fresh, clean water. You won’t regret it.
So Travel In Italy With A Water Bottle
My husband isn’t a huge fan of Rome but he does maintain that their tap water tastes the best.
So when visiting Italy, a water bottle is an easy way to enjoy this free treat.
If you forget to bring one from home then reuse a 500ml bottle. The water is so cold, amazing on a hot August day.
Looking for other tips about packing for Italy? This is a list of the most important items to pack for Italy.