Tap water in Rome · Water quality · Drinking fountains · Nasoni

Tap water in Rome Fontana Pantheon

Many people ask if you can drink tap water in Rome. Is it safe to drink tap water or should you buy your water in bottles? Here you will find all the information.

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.

Drinking fountains

Bubbler at Villa Pamphili
Bubbler (fontanella) in Villa Pamphili

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

TDrinking water in Rome use of Nasonihe 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!

Drinking water in Rome Bubbler Nasoni FontanelleYou 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.

Water dispenser with sparkling water

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

These are the positions of the water dispensers for sparkling water:

  • In front of the metro station Colosseo
  • In front of the exit of the Colosseum
  • In front of the railway station San Pietro
  • Opposite Castel Sant’Angelo towards the Vatican in Piazza Pia
  • In the Villa Borghese in front of the entrance to the zoo – Bioparco
  • At the pyramid on the Via Marco Polo in front of the administrative building of the waterworks

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.

Park of the Aqueducts
Ruins of an aqueduct in the South of Rome

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.

Drinking water in Rome Fontana della Barcaccia
Fontana della Barcaccia at the Spanish Steps

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 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 July 2017

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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