Tap water in Rome Fontana Pantheon

Drinking fountains · Nasoni · Tap water in Rome

Rome has excellent drinking water and there are many public water fountains. The water supply in Rome is still based on the work of the ancient Romans.

Water quality

The tap water in Rome is generally a very fresh, tasty and chalky potable water of excellent quality. Tap water is under continuous quality control and slightly chlorinated. In some suburbs of Rome, the water is slightly sparkling and is slightly effervescent from the pipe. You can safely drink tap water in Rome.


Fontanella at Villa Pamphili

In many streets and parks in Rome, you will find fountains with running water. They are called “Fontanelle” or even “Nasoni“.

Cover the outlet of the nasone

The water is always potable water, otherwise you’ll find a note, that the water is “acqua non potabile”. All wells are checked regularly.

The Fontanelle have usually a hole on the top of the spout. If you close the spout with your finger, the water splashes out of the hole and you can have the water sprayed directly into the mouth. It is forbidden to touch the spout with your mouth!

The water splashes out at the top

You can safely fill a water bottle at the bubbler and it is absolutely not necessary to buy bottled water.

In St. Peter’s Square you will find drinking water wells around the obelisk at the lampposts.

Sparkling water

The Roman waterworks provide in the city some water dispensers, where you can tap fresh water and sparkling water.

These are the locations of the natural and sparkling water dispensers at the Colosseum and the Vatican:

  • In front of the metro station Colosseo
  • In front of the exit of the Colosseum
  • At the Cipro and Ottaviano Metro Stations

Monumental fountains

Since ancient times, the Romans have placed great value on a good water supply. Since the fourth century BC the waters of the Tiber was no more sufficient for the provision of water, they began to build aqueducts and brought them to a high architecture.

In the park of the aqueducts

In ancient times, 12 aqueducts were realized, conducting the water over long distances. Today, there are 16 water supplies to the city. Many of the fountains, such as the Trevi Fountain, the large fountain Acqua Paola on the Gianicolo Hill or the two fountains on the St. Peter’s Square, are fed by ancient aqueducts with potable water.

Fontana della Barcaccia

To save water, many monumental fountains today have circulation systems. The drinking from the monumental fountains is therefore usually harmless, but not recommended. It is forbidden to jump into the Roman wells or even to put your feet in it.

Water 2024

There is always talk of water shortages in Italy. However, Rome has not usually been affected, as the surrounding area is very rich in water. Only in the summer of 2017 did the level of the Lago di Bracciano in the north drop alarmingly and water-saving measures had to be introduced.

In the winter of 23/24 there was sufficient rainfall and it rained regularly in the spring. It is not unusual for there to be little rain from June to mid-August, and drought is also normal during these months. Therefore, no restrictions are expected. The free drinking fountains will certainly be in operation.

Water scarcity in the summer 2017

Rome usually has potable water in excess and is very wasteful. Thousands of liters flow through the monumental wells and the 2,500 public bubblers in the city.

Due to the low rainfall in the spring 2017 the inflows of potable water in Rome were below the usual amounts.

At the beginning of July 2017 it was decided to close a large part of the bubblers – Nasoni – in addition to a ban on the irrigation of green areas. With the onset of rainfall in September, the problem has been solved.

With a population of 2.7 million, Rome has double the water consumption of Berlin with 3.5 million inhabitants and the reduction of 8% had no major impact.

As a signal of responsibility for the environment, the Vatican turned off the two monumental fountains on St. Peter’s Square. That was a pity, of course.

The Roman water supply company has published a list of Nasoni with guaranteed water supply. In order to make your orientation easier, we have drawn the guaranteed bubblers in the city center into the map below.

Map of drinking fountains in Rome

Map of guaranteed fountains (Nasoni) in Rome center

In any case, it has been shown that the news of water scarcity in the summer of 2017 has been greatly exaggerated and that for now, Rome will not have water problems too soon.

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