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.
This is the “bathtub” style, popular in the Alto Adige area.
A rustic fountain in Austria.
The water in the mountains is very cool and refreshing.
New fountains are still being built.
Another refill. The water was usually refreshingly cool..
A fancy marble fountain in Klausen/Chiusa.
This big one in Trento featuring Neptune used drinkable water.
The humble village type fountain was always a welcome sight.
This fountain was in the middle of nowhere at a road junction.
Sometimes a really cold refill at a bar was a good idea.
This one wasn’t working unfortunately.
Here’s one for horses.
This fountain was high in the Appenines after I’d passed over the Serra Pass.
A typical rustic style fountain in the countryside.
The person who restored this one wrote a little poem.
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
Ficulle boasts a very old fountain built into a wall.
Some villages still have their communal wash houses although they are usually signed as not drinklable.
Campagnano di Roma has an impressive fountain.
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.
All the fountains of Rome such as this one in Piazza Navone were originally fed by aqueducts but now also use recycled water.
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.
But when you’re really thirsty after a long day’s walk …..