Day in, day out, drinking water gushes out of Rome's numerous street fountains, to the delight and relief of thirsty passers-by. On a hot summer's day there is nothing more refreshing!
The street fountains are known locally as nasoni, as the curved metal pipe, through which the water flows out, is thought to resemble a big nose (nasone). 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 the 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 S.P.Q.R., the logo of Rome's city council.
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