Walking along the Via Romea Germanica in April and May of 2018, I encountered some quite warm and humid weather. I was carrying 2 litres of water which wasn’t enough for me to last a whole day’s walking .

Fortunately, water fountains are reasonably common in both Austria and Italy. I encountered an interesting range of styles of fountain along my walk adding to its interest as well as allowing top ups of my water bottles.

In Aprile e Maggio di 2018 ho camminato da Innsbruck fino a Roma lungo la Via Romea Germanica. Faceva abbastanza caldo e i due litri d’acqua che portavo non mi bastavano per una giornata di camminare. Di solito potevo riempire le borace con la acqua rinfrescante di una fontana.

Era anche bello osservare i vari tipi di fontana.

The first fountain I came across was in Innsbruck where I started my walk.

Via romea germanica fountain Innsbruck

This is the “bathtub” style, popular in the Alto Adige area.

Via Romea germanica fountain

A rustic fountain in Austria.

via romea germanica rustioc fountain austria

The water in the mountains is very cool and refreshing.

Via romea germanica alto adige

New fountains are still being built.

blog fountain 2 Via Romea germanica

Another refill. The water was usually refreshingly cool..

Via romea germanica fountain alto adige

A fancy marble fountain in Klausen/Chiusa.

Via romea germanica Chiusa Klausen

This big one in Trento featuring Neptune used drinkable water.

vis romea germanica Trento

The humble village type fountain was always a welcome sight.

via romea germanica

This fountain was in the middle of nowhere at a road junction.

vis romea germanica fountain

Sometimes a really cold refill at a bar was a good idea.

blog Via Romea germanica bar Meldola

This one wasn’t working unfortunately.

blog Via Romea germanica fountain arezzo

Here’s one for horses.

Via Romea Germanica

This fountain was high in the Appenines after I’d passed over the Serra Pass.

fountain via romea germanica serra pass

A typical rustic style fountain in the countryside.

The person who restored this one wrote a little poem.

Oh! viandante
che passi e vai via
fermati a salutare
l’immagine di Maria

Tu fontana sei antica
e già rovinata
ma io ti voglio riparala.

Here’s my whimsical translation.

‘Oh traveller who passes by, stop and salute Mary’s picture
You, fountain, are old and broken, but I want to fix ya .’

Sabatini Celli September 1998

Via Romea Germanica fountain Tuscany

Ficulle boasts a very old fountain built into a wall.

via romea germanica fountain ficulle

Some villages still have their communal wash houses although they are usually signed as not drinklable.

Via romea germanica laundry

Campagnano di Roma has an impressive fountain.

via romea germanica campagnano

The fountain is often the centre piece of a small town’s main piazza, such as this one in Sutri. This ancient town was at one stage Etruscan and was called Sutrium by the Romans.

On the outskirts of Rome I came across my first standard Roman fountain. It was a bit the worse for wear but still functioning. This style is called a “nasone’ or big nose and usually fed from mountain springs often using at least in part ancient Roman acqueducts.


The drought of 2017, combined with a very leaky distribution system due to prolonged lack on maintenance led to the temporary shut down of Rome’s fountains

Vatican City has very posh marble fountains for thirsty pilgrims.

Via romea germanica fountain

All the fountains of Rome such as this one in Piazza Navone were originally fed by aqueducts but now also use recycled water.

blog fountains rome 2

They do need cleaning from time to time and of course the coins have to be collected. This is Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers. The continents known at the time are represented by the Danube, Nile, Ganges and the Rio de la Plata.

blog fountains rome 1.jpg

But when you’re really thirsty after a long day’s walk …..

via romea germanica beer