The Roman Nasone

October 11, 2007 / Local Interest
Neither the Colosseum nor St.Peter’s dome, the cobblestones or un caffe’. While all these are part and parcel of the Eternal City, it is drinking from the simple, humble water fountain that triggers the “I’m home!” feeling every time I return to Rome from abroad.

Although the design of the fountain itself is from the 19th century, the water we drink from it is the same water that has been running into the city for thousands of years. Purer than bottled water to boot! Makes me think about all those ancient Romans, walking around in the heat 2000 years ago, stopping to drink just like me.

The iconic Roman fountain is affectionately called a nasone, ”big nose”, due to the profile that the spigot gives it. In order to drink from it, plug the bottom of the nasone with one hand . . . but watch out or you’ll get a nose full of water yourself.


by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

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