{Rome} The City of Public Fountains

This post is part of Operation Vicarious {Rome}

During a break on our Vespa Tour, we stopped to fill our water bottles at one of the many Roman public fountains also know as Nasoni, meaning “big nose.” While many tourists are familiar with Rome’s famous fountains, few seem to realize that the water coming from the fountains is not only free, but clean and drinkable.

Rome’s fountains are both beautiful and practical. Carved by world renowned sculptors they were used to bring essential water into the city for citizens to share.

The water flowing from the smallest Nasoni to the grand Trevi Fountain is the same water that comes out of the taps of Rome’s houses, so if you’re touring the Eternal City on a hot summer day rather than buying bottled water, just stop at a fountain! The first nasone was created in 1874 when only twenty of these fountains could be found in the city.

Today in Rome you can find over 2,500 water fountains. But the one in the picture is specific, only a few remain of this particular design. There’s a skill to drinking directly from it, no doubt. Like a garden hose, you use your finger to plug the drain and the water then diverts to come out the top — creating an arc of water to drink from. Like a modern-day drinking fountain.

Of course this young Roman in the photo decided to go old school and drink from it like a garden hose in the backyard. I on the other hand tried my hand at it and got a face full of water — Twice. I will be practicing next time I’m in town.