Bottled Water and You!

It’s no secret that summer in Rome is…well…it’s hot! If you plan to be out and about in the summer heat, be sure to keep your fluids up, drink lots of water, and drink less coffee and alcohol: this will ensure that you spend more time vacationing and less time in the local emergency room!

You might have heard about how a town in Australia that has put a stop to the sale of bottled water, calling it wasteful and damaging to the environment. While I do not foresee that happening in Rome anytime soon, there are things that you can do to cut down on waste – that is, throwing away your water bottles. Here are some tips:

If you’ve ever been to Rome, you’ll notice that there are a lot of fountains – the grand kind that you see in the piazzas and also the small ones (fontanelle), which are drinking fountains (pictured on the left). The water is safe to drink unless you see a sign that says “Non Potabile” or “Acqua Non Potabile” – if you don’t see the sign, then the water is safe to drink. These small drinking fountains are all over the city center as well as throughout the metropolitan area. Instead of buying bottled water, consider refilling an aluminium or plastic bottle brought from home to re-hydrate. The water has a slightly metallic flavor. Generally, I don’t like it, but it varies from fountain to fountain. The water might not taste as good as bottled water, but it’s clean. Cutting down on bottled water makes for a cleaner environment and less waste!

You can also drink water from many of the large fountains in the city, but use your judgment. For example, I wouldn’t drink the water from the Trevi Fountain (with all the coins in the water), but many of the other fountains in the city are good water sources. Keep in mind what the fountains were intended for: first as sources of water and second as works of art!

If you do buy bottled water, save the plastic bottle and refill it throughout the day at a fountain or fontanella. Not only will you be recycling your own plastic, but you can save money on buying more bottled water.

Try to avoid buying bottled water from tourist traps or near busy tourist areas – you’ll pay 10 times what you would pay in a supermarket. There are tons of supermarkets in Rome. Don’t be daunted if you find that all the water bottles come in packs of six, 12 or more. You can break open the pack and take just one or two bottles. There’s a great supermarket on Via Ostiense near Andreotti – it’s small, but you can buy a small bottle of water for 0.15 euro and reuse the bottle – that’s the cheapest bottled water I found in the city. Buy a few larger bottles and leaving them in your hotel or lodgings for the evenings. The nighttime is a good time to re-hydrate for the following morning.

And lastly, if you cannot or do not like to reuse your plastic bottles, at the very least, recycle them. There are recycling bins all throughout the city and are clearly marked. Read what others are saying about drinking water from Rome’s fountains:

Also check out this post, about the nasoni of Rome!