How do People In Italy Rate The Tap Water?
Travellers and residents of Italy have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data. A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.
Tap water ratings
- Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 33% Low
- Water Pollution 42% Moderate
- Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 67% High
- Water Quality 58% Moderate
Can you drink the tap water in Italy?
The US Center for Disease Control’s travel advisory confirms the safety of the tap water in Italy (source). However, it would be best if you take special precautions toward the unregulated water sources in some areas. Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.
What do people in Italy think about the tap water?
Tap water in Italy is safe to drink. The only exception is where a tap is marked ‘Acqua non potabile’ (Water not suitable for drinking).
While safe to drink, the tap water in some parts of Italy (e.g. Sardinia, or parts of the South) can be cloudy with a slight off taste. Some Italians prefer bottled water, which is served in restaurants; make sure you let the waiter/waitress know you want regular water (acqua naturale or acqua liscia) or else you could get water with either natural gas (acqua effervescente) or with added carbonation (acqua frizzante or acqua gassata); usually the waiter will ask which one you want with phrases like "Liscia/naturale o gassata/frizzante?" (Still or sparkling water?). Rome, in particular, has exceptional pride in the quality of its water. This goes right back to the building of aqueducts channeling pure mountain water to every citizen during Roman times. Don't waste plastic bottles! You can refill your drinking containers and bottles at any of the constant running taps and fountains dotted around the city, safe in the knowledge that you are getting excellent quality cool spring water - try it!
Water in southern Italy might come from desalination and sometimes may have a strange taste, due to extended droughts. If in doubt use bottled water. Elsewhere tap water is perfectly drinkable and very well maintained. Or else, a "NON POTABILE" warning is posted.
Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.
Sources and Resources
Check tap water safety for other popular destinations
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