Rome’s new (ugly) drinking fountains

ACEAfountain Anyone who has already been to Rome is familiar with the traditional “nasone”, the four-feet tall, grey, lead column-shaped water fountains that were first placed in Rome in 1874 by the city government in order to provide drinking water to any thirsty citizen.

Now the  260 “big noses”  Nasoneinside the old city walls will have the company of a much more modern counterpart,  the so-called “casa dell’acqua”, which will dispense flat or normal mineral water to people with their own bottles, as well as provide a place for disposing of unwanted plastic bottles and  AND (and this is truly odd as there is no obvious relationship to water) a USB port for free cellphone and tablet recharging and an HD screen for weather reports and, supposedly,  information about the neighborhood. Wow!  The only problem? They are UGLY and in colors that have nothing to do with historic Rome – electric blue, yellow and green. Ugh.

Anyway, the city water company, ACEA, promises that these modern-day fontanelle will provide cold, filtered water either by the glass or by the liter and will help improve the environment by dissuading people from buying plastic bottles, many of which do not get disposed of in the proper manner (in receptacles designed for recycling). They are planning on setting up about 100 of these, both inside the walls and in more outlying areas, mostly around neighborhood markets.

According to ACEA, this is supposed to save the average family 130 euros a year, but with all  the other problems concerning the Rome water system, some ask, wouldn’t there have been a better way to spend this money?


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