'Is Venice's tap water safe to drink?'
Yes! Drinking water in Venice is pure, cool, and tasty. It's pumped in from deep wells on the Venetian mainland, so feel free to slurp from the faucet or fill your water bottle from 122 neighborhood fountains in the city center.
Centuries ago, Venice's powers-that-be devised a surprisingly effective system for providing fresh water to the city's residents: Rain was channeled into drains in public squares and filtered through sand, then stored in cisterns. Wellheads in every square made it easy for Venetians to get water for drinking and washing.
Today, the wellheads are merely decorative, and Venice's public water supply comes primarily from a deep acquifer on the Italian mainland.
Wells reach a depth of 300 meters or nearly 1,000 feet, with the quality of the water being monitored continuously by an automated system and the water utility's laboratory.
According to The New York Times, "Venice’s tap water comes from deep underground in the same region as one of Italy’s most popular bottled waters, San Benedetto."
Bottom line: There's absolutely no reason to waste your money on bottled water (which is subject to fewer controls than Venice's tap water). Instead, you can fill up your own bottle from your hotel or apartment's faucets or one of the public fountains that you'll find in campi and other squares throughout the city center.
For an up-to-date map of free public fountains, visit Venicetapwater.com.
BELOW: A woman feeds water to her dog with cupped hands. (Many of Venice's fountains have dog bowls, making such improvisation unnecessary.)
BELOW:Visitors fill a water bottle at a public fountain in Venice's Centro Storico (historic center).
BELOW: A mother and her daughter prepare for a battle with water balloons.
BELOW: The Comune di Venezia has outlawed feeding the city's pigeons, but the birds are still able to enjoy the fresh, crisp taste of Acqua Veritas water.
Europe for Visitors (including
Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl
Imboden in 2001.
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