Is it safe to drink from fountains in Italy?
Do people need to boil water before drinking it?
L’acqua che tocchi de’ fiumi è l’ultima di quella che andò e la prima di quella che viene. Così il tempo presenteLeonardo Da Vinci
“Can you drink tap water in Italy?” is a question that students coming to visit us ask quite frequently. The answer is of course yes: tap water in Italy is always good to drink unless it is explicitly communicated.
Tap water is constantly monitored in Italy in order to always assure its safety. in 2017, for instance, Siena’s Aqueduct Society performed 2543 controls (almost 7 per day) checking 62750 parameters, and registered a 99.4% conformity rate.
So drinking tap water in Italy is safe and there is absolutely no need to boil it before using it! Nevertheless many people still prefer buying bottled water, probably because Italy is also renowned for its many famous mineral waters.
But we have to keep in mind that it is not a very ecological choice. Consuming bottled water contributes in fact to the pollution of Oceans, that are increasingly becoming filled with micro plastics. Furthermore, both the production of plastic bottles and their transportation are huge sources of CO2 pollution in the atmosphere.
In all Italian cities there are lots of public fountains to refill your reusable bottle with fresh water for free, so drinking tap water in Italy is not only safe, not only ecological, but also very inexpensive!
Interesting facts: l’acqua di Siena
The history of water in Siena is long and complex. Because it is a hilltop city without major water springs, the ancient Sieneses built a 25km-long tunnel system to bring water from afar. So there are two aqueducts: an ancient one dating back to the middle ages that serves the beautiful monumental city founts; and a modern one that since 1914 brings its delicious fresh water from the near Mount Amiata.