Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The "big noses"

The "big noses" are the small fountains which distribute water for free, 24/7, throughout the whole city of Rome. They are called big noses for the shape of the small circular tube from which the water gushes out. There are approximately 2500 in the whole city, 280 of which just within the historic walls of the center. The water which comes out is drinkable and always fresh. The idea of building such small fointains came to the first mayor of the city, Luigi Pianciani, to supply with water the city after its reunification to the italian state in 1870. These small fountains are relatively new. In the centre there are many "historical" ones and from some of them drinking was forbidden to animals such as donkeys, horses or goats. To drink water from these fountains like a real roman does, just block the gush of water with a finger, and it will come out from a small hole in the circular tube.