Day and night, cold, clear drinking water gushes out of Rome's many street fountains, to the delight and relief of thirsty passers-by. On a hot summer's day in the capital there is nothing more refreshing!
The street fountains of Rome are known locally as nasoni (big noses), as the curved metal pipe through which the water flows out is thought to resemble a big nose.
This has not always been the case; the original pipes were straight and ended in the head of a dragon. A good example of such a street fountain is still working in Piazza della Rotonda.
The first nasone was set up by the city's first mayor, Luigi Panciani, in 1874. His objective was to provide free, clean drinking water for the people of Rome.
Today, there are roughly 2,200 nasoni, each bearing the letters SPQR, the logo of Rome's comune (city council).