Can you drink tap water in Rome?

Can you drink tap water in Rome or should you buy bottled water?

Sometimes newbie travelers think traveling is all about booking a ticket to anywhere and having fun while on the road.

But there are many things travelers need to think of to keep themselves safe while on their dream journey. 

One essential safety tip many forget about is checking whether tap water is safe to drink. After all, you wouldn’t want to ruin your trip for a silly mistake that will give you trouble. 

If you are traveling to Rome, you will be delighted to know that tap water is safe to drink!

In fact, Rome has thousands of water fountains scattered around to have a sip or refill your bottle. 

However, there is definitely more to the water fountains and tap water in establishments such as hotels and restaurants.

So, keep reading to learn more and discover tips on ordering tap water. 

Filling a glass of tap water
Photo from Canva

Can you drink tap water in Rome?

Tap water in Rome is indeed safe to drink.

But there are some essential tips you should know on how to obtain tap water in certain establishments and how to get free tap water. 

Can you drink tap water in Rome hotels?

Generally, the water quality in Italy is of a high standard. So be assured that tap water in every hotel in Rome is safe to drink.

If a hotel’s tap water is unsafe, the hotel will surely let you know on your arrival. But this is an extremely rare occasion in Rome. 

However, as a custom, all room hotels in Rome provide bottled water, especially because tap water may not be to your liking due to the different tastes.

Still, tap water is safe, not only for drinking but also for washing your teeth and taking medication.

Someone filling a metal flask with tap water.
Drinking tap water in hotels is safe – Photo from Canva

Can you drink tap water in Rome restaurants?

Almost every restaurant in Rome offers bottled water rather than tap water.

As an assumption, the waiter will ask all guests if they prefer “liscia” (still), “frizzante”(sparkly), or “leggermente frizzante” (lightly sparkly).

So, it is necessary for you to request tap water, but be aware that your request may not be met.

Some waiters may insist that they only have bottled water or suggest micro-filtered water. 

Specifically, some restaurants nowadays have their own water filtration system, so they offer tap water but not free.

If they offer it for free, remember to leave a tip at the end of your meal as appreciation.

Can you drink tap water in Rome bars and cafes?

All bars, cafes, and other hospitality facilities have safe drinking water.

And bars and cafes usually provide a free glass of tap water, unlike restaurants.

Specifically, bars serve a glass of tap water upon request, while cafes give a glass of tap water with your coffee.

However, be aware that if you order water and don’t order another drink, the waiter will presume you will like bottled water.

So, it is necessary to specify your preference or ask for a glass of water, which will surely be from the tap and free. 

Faucets in a cafe in Rome
Photo from Canva

Can you drink water from Rome fountains?

Rome is famous for its beautiful historic fountains. They are part of the city’s culture and history. But not all are drinking fountains.

For instance, water from monumental fountains such as Trevi Fountain is not drinkable. 

For safe drinking water, stick to the small water fountains “nasoni.” Translating into “large nose,” these small fountains flow fresh, safe, and delicious water from their “noses.”

First introduced in the 1870s, these fountains have been providing drinking water to citizens and travelers for almost 150 years.

In fact, Rome boasts 2800 nasoni, so you will definitely come across plenty of them.

Also, that means Rome won’t let you get thirsty, not even during Rome’s scorching summer temperatures. 

An old drinking fountain in Rome - a must-try on how to drink tap water in Rome.
Yes, you can drink the tap water in Rome! – Photo from Canva

🚰 How to drink from Rome’s ‘nasoni’?

The best way to get water from a nasoni is by using a water bottle. Specifically, when getting ready for your trip to Rome, remember to pack a reusable water bottle.

So, when you come across a nasoni, you can refill your bottle by holding it out in front of the tap that constantly flows with water. 

If you find yourself strolling in Rome‘s streets and needing water, you can drink directly from a nasoni.

However, do not put your mouth on the pipe.

That’s unhygienic, as well as illegal.

Instead, block the tap with your hand to divert the water’s flow and create a drinking fountain. 

📍Is there a map of drinking fountains in Rome?

Although you can easily find a nasoni since they are practically everywhere in Rome, today, you can also use multiple apps to find one.

Specifically, certain apps have mapped these drinking fountains to help travelers navigate easily toward one while they explore Rome. 

Two of the most popular apps are Waidy and I Nasoni di Roma.

Also, these fountains are literally everywhere in Rome, not just in local residential areas. 

So, for instance, if you just finished your tour in the Colosseum and find yourself thirsty, you will find a nasoni right in front of the Colosseum metro stop.  

💡 How can you find the closest water fountain in Rome and other Italian cities?

Apart from the 19th-century nasonis, Rome and other nearby cities are now supplied with drinking through water distributors known as “case dell’acqua” too. 

Installed and managed by ACEA, these water distributors are public fountains, just like a nasoni, but are more hygienic and modern.

Also, these fountains let you choose between natural water or sparkling. But don’t worry, whatever you choose, will be from the local water supply.

The water distributors are open 24/7 and are available in many different areas. You just need to access their website and find the nearest to you.

Close-up of the Rome's Trevi Fountain.
Don’t forget to take a selfie with the Trevi Fountain, but I wouldn’t recommend drinking from it! – Photo from Canva

How clean is Rome’s tap water?

Rome has exhibited an advanced civilization since ancient times.

Therefore, Rome has been continuously supplying clean drinking water to its citizens for over two thousand years. 

Today you can see the remains of historic aqueducts, while some present aqueducts have ancient roots which still supply numerous fountains, including the Trevi Fountain with tap water. 

Nevertheless, today about 97% of Rome’s tap water comes from spring water and reaches the city via the aqueduct Peschiera-Capore.

The water it transports is clean and rich in minerals. 

💧 Why is Rome’s water so clean?

As mentioned earlier, ACEA is responsible for Rome’s water supply. Similarly, ACEA is accountable for the tap water’s quality, safety, and access. 

ACEA is Italy’s national water company that not only supplies around nine million people with water but also constantly inspects the water’s quality through monitoring and treatments to meet the necessary standards for drinking. 

Therefore, Italy’s tap water is always clean and safe to drink.

❓ Who guarantees tap water quality in Rome?

ACEA is the company that guarantees the water’s quality. However, ACEA complies with the European Union’s standards via the Water Framework Directive

Through the treatment plants, tap water has a minimum of 0.2 mg per liter of chlorine.

For anyone who wishes to confirm the water’s quality, ACEA releases water reports through their website. 

The reports include detailed levels of arsenic, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and other chemicals, showing the suitability of the water for drinking.

A vintage faucet of tap water in Rome.
Water fountains or Nasoni are common in Rome – Photo from Canva

Do I need to use a water filter in Rome?

Tap water in most places across Italy, especially Rome, is of great quality. After all, Rome has an excellent water treatment system, making drinking water across the city safe and drinkable.

Although a water filter is unnecessary, if you want to be sure the tap water you drink is 100% safe or desire to improve the taste, you can always use a filter.

Try a faucet water filter such as TAPP, or choose a water bottle with a filter to always carry with you and use even when refilling it through nasoni or a water distributor.

Which is better: bottled water or tap water in Rome?

Frankly, when comparing tap water in Rome and bottled water, it is about each individual’s preference rather than one being better than the other. 

As seen above, Rome’s tap water has excellent quality, and due to the rich minerals, it has a pleasant and smooth taste.

However, some may find the taste uncomfortable and thus prefer bottled water. 

Also, an essential factor for many travelers is the cost. Specifically, tap water is usually free, while bottled water is often rather expensive.

Especially because Rome is one of the top-visited destinations in Italy and the world, thus prices are often pretty high.

However, others may consider the influence bottled waters have on the environment. For instance, plastic bottles are not sustainably friendly.

In fact, disposable water bottles pollute the oceans massively and can kill more than a million sea creatures per year. 

🥛 Types of bottled water in Rome

Even though Rome’s tap water is perfectly safe and has plenty of water sources such as the nasoni, Romans prefer bottled water. 

Italy has three types of bottled water. These include still water, sparkling, and lightly sparkling.

The easiest and cheapest place to buy bottled water is the supermarket, where you can buy it in bulk. 

A front view of the Colosseum on a sunny day.
Look for a Nasoni after your exploration of the Colosseum – Photo from Canva

💧 Drinking water distributors in Rome

Some popular bottled water brands are Uliveto, Rocchetta, Panna, San Benedetto, Sangemini, and Sant’Anna.

If you would like to try the bottled lightly sparkling water, also known as effervescente, go for the brand Ferrarelle.

💰 Cost of bottled water in Rome

Unlike other countries, Italy’s bottled water has reasonable prices.

Usually, in most supermarkets, you can find a 1.5-liter bottle for less than €1, while in a kiosk, you might find a half-liter bottle for €0.50.

However, since Rome is a popular destination, hospitality establishments like restaurants might be a bit more expensive.

Therefore, restaurants may sell bottled water at higher prices.

Although, the cost can also depend on the fanciness of the restaurant, the water’s brand, the bottle’s material, and its size. 

For instance, a touristy or fancy restaurant’s water bottle of 0.75 or 1 liter costs up to €4.00.

But at a local eatery, like a pizzeria, trattoria, or osteria, the cost for the same bottle is half the price.

FAQs about drinking water in Rome and nearby cities

Is European tap water safe to drink?

Generally, Europe’s tap water is of excellent quality and is drinkable. But although most countries follow the regulations for water monitoring and treatment, due to outdated treatment plants or agricultural and industrial contamination, it is necessary to ask whether your destination has drinkable tap water. 

Can you drink tap water in Italy?

Italy’s tap water is safe to drink, so generally, you can consume it all across the country. However, some rural areas may have contaminated tap water, so it is necessary to ask the hotel’s staff on your arrival if the tap water is clean to avoid any health issues.

Can you drink tap water in Venice?

Tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Venice. It is supplied from the mainland and not the canals, which is constantly monitored to check the quality.

Can you drink tap water in Florence?

Florence’s tap water is perfectly safe to drink. Similarly to other cities, the water is constantly monitored to check the quality. And like in Rome, Florence has plenty of drinking fountains and water distributors.

Can you drink tap water in Milan?

Milan’s tap water is generally safe to drink. However, you might find the tap water’s taste different and strange due to the protective chemicals after finding E.coli some years back. Locals have become accustomed to it, but it might affect travelers. So, you might prefer avoiding water sourced from a well or a drinking fountain.   

Can I brush my teeth with Italian tap water?

Tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Rome, so it is also safe to use for other necessities. So, whether you are staying at a hotel, an Airbnb, or a friend’s house, feel free to use tap water to brush your teeth. 

Conclusion: Can you drink tap water in Rome?

Rome has perfectly safe, clean, and pleasant drinkable tap water.

Furthermore, it is a city that will surely never leave you thirsty since it has thousands of drinking fountains to stop for a sip or refill your water bottle while exploring this beautiful ancient city.