Drinking water in Italy
Drinking water in Italy is cool, safe and readily available everywhere. And in some parts of Italy you can still see people gathering around the local water well.
Free drinking water is a human right in most developed countries, and Italy makes no exception. Thanks to the mountains, clean drinking water is abundant and relatively available across most regions. The processing and cleaning standards are as good as any in Europe. Only bad luck and/or private storage in unclean pipes and reservoirs will make you sick from drinking water in Italy.
Still, tap water – even when supplied through the water grid – may not taste particularly nice and it can give you stomach cramps. In consequence, most people spend a small fortune buying bottled water.
Public Water Fountains
A cheap alternative to bottled water runs from public water fountains that can be found in all towns and villages. This water is free, tasteless, drinkable (potabile) and readily available from marked water posts everywhere. And it is safe for tourists to stop and take a drink or fill up their drinking bottles from these fountains instead of carrying bottled water around.
In the south, you’ll also see locals driving up with a dozen containers and vessels of varying sizes to take the free, portable water home and use for cooking and drinking. It goes to show that some Europeans still meet around the local water well.
This post was last updated in September 2018
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