Public fountains in Rome

Public fountains in Rome

Drinkable water

There are lots of famous fountains in Rome but few people know that the water coming from them is clean and drinkable. Fountains in the city can be found everywhere and apart from the most famous ones like the Trevi Fountain, tourists often overlook the other fountains which are an important part of the Rome’s history.

The number of public fountains

In the modern day Rome you can find around 2500 public fountains which are called Nasoni (Big noses). These fountains contain clean water that is safe for drinking. Basically this is the same water that comes out of the taps of Rome’s apartments. So, while you are touring the city in hot summer days you may drink safely the water from Nasoni. The first such fountain was created in 1874 and that time there were only twenty of these in the city.

Public fountains in RomeAppearance

Nasoni’s appearance is different from typical fountains. They are much smaller in size, round and stout and made of cast iron. Nasoni stands about three feet tall and produce chilled fresh water. You will find the initials S.P.Q.R. stamped on each public fountain which stands for Senate and People of Rome which can also be seen on the city’s sewer grates. The water from the Nasoni is provided from the reservoir located in Peschiera which runs approximately seventy miles of channels before emerging in the fountain. The fountain system is environmentally friendly because the constantly running water is recycled and not wasted.


Rome’s fountains were carved by world renowned sculptors and were used to bring essential water into the city. In 98 AD the Roman consul was first termed as guardian of the city’s water supply. At that time Rome had nine aqueducts and 591 public basins that provided water to thirty nine monumental fountains. After Rome fell the aqueducts were damaged, and were reconstructed in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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