Italy Travel Mistake: Not Drinking From Public Fountains, Especially in Rome

Updated 2018. This is an excerpt from our ebook 31 Mistakes Not to Make When You Travel to Italy – free when you become a member of the Dream of Italy website/award-winning print newsletter!

All of those public fountains in Italy aren’t just for decoration – the locals drink from them, and you can too. Rome has more than 2,500 fountains around the city (there are several apps for finding them, or you can use Google Maps) and Venice has 122. In Rome, the short, cylindrical fountains are called fontanelle – little fountains – or nasoni, as some think the spout looks like a nose.

These fountains contain very clean, cold, safe, tasteless water. Contrary to how public drinking fountains are perceived in the U.S., Italian fountains contain some of the freshest water in the country. Rather than buy multiple water bottles, do as the locals do and bring your own or buy just one disposable bottle and refill it from these fountains. If you dont have a water bottle handy but still want a drink, go ahead – on some fountains, you can plug the side spigot with your thumb and the water will come out of a top spigot. 

Photo by Ada Be,