Nasoni: Rome’s free drinking fountains

Rome’s nasoni fountains provide free fresh drinking water.

Rome is blessed with more than 2,500 drinking fountains, known as nasoni, which provide residents and visitors with free fresh water all year round.

Why are Rome’s drinking fountains called nasoni?

The iconic fountains, also known as fontanelle, get their nasoni (“big nose”) name from the curved metal spout, which pours cool freshwater round the clock.

What is the history of Rome’s nasoni fountains?

The nasoni were first introduced in the early 1870s when the new capital began providing free water.

There were around 5,000 nasoni in Rome at the peak of their popularity, but this number has dwindled to roughly between 2,500 and 2,800.

Why do the nasoni fountains run all the time?

Besides their benefit in offering refreshing free water, the constantly-running nasoni keep the water from stagnating in pipes.

Can dogs drink from the nasoni?

Rome’s much-loved fountains have a little basin at the base, designed especially for dogs. This is a lifesaver for dogs, particularly in the hot summer months.

Is it safe to drink from Rome’s nasoni?

Yes. Besides being free, the water in the nasoni is the same Acqua Potabile that flows into Roman homes, meaning it is totally safe to drink.

Are the fountains ever turned off?

No – apart from a severe drought in 2017 when many of the city’s nasoni were switched off or reduced to a trickle to preserve water supplies, but this was in exceptional circumstances. Normally the fountains run all the time, night and day, all year round.

Where are the drinking fountains located in Rome?

Here is a map to help you find Rome’s drinking fountains.