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Drinking the tap water in Italy

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Jul 7th, 2001, 11:02 AM
  #1
Frank
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Drinking the tap water in Italy

Is the drinking water OK in Italy, or just do bottled?
Frank
 
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Jul 7th, 2001, 11:41 AM
  #2
Francine
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No, no, no. I drank a tap water on arrival when we got to Due Torri Hotel and got so sick I had to stay in bed for two days.
 
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Jul 7th, 2001, 12:03 PM
  #3
PostGirl
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I wouldn't chance it. No matter where you go there is going to be different bacteria and organisms in the water. I stuck to bottled water/coke the entire time in Italy and never have a problem. My husband on the other hand, did encounter some "problems" the last 2 days of trips, probably from drinking the water
 
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Jul 7th, 2001, 12:21 PM
  #4
rory
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DO NOT DRINK THE WATER.
I stupedly drank odd metalic tasting water when I was in italy and developed terrible stomach cramps, started vomiting and had terrible diarrhea for 3 days.
I could not move for fear of messing myself and missed out and subsequently had to catch up with my tour.
This is why italians all drink bottled water.
It is much dirtier than the states.
And no one seems to care like thy do here.
 
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Jul 7th, 2001, 01:43 PM
  #5
Kelly
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Both my mom and I drank the tap water in Italy with no problems. In Rome they have great water fountains that you can fill up your water bottles with cold, fresh water. I guess it just depends on the person, I travel a lot, eat all sorts of street food, usually drink the tap water (except when I was in Morocco and Turkey) and have never been sick.

On a side note, what's up with not being able to get served tap water at the restaurants in Italy? I really didn't mind paying for the bottled water there which is usually colder anyways, but especially since I was already buying wine or other drinks, is it really a big deal to serve me tap water if I want it? Has anyone ever ordered tap water successfully in an Italian restaurant????
 
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Jul 7th, 2001, 01:56 PM
  #6
Ed
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Folks, the water in Italy is fine. Water purity standards in Western Europe are as high as in the US ... perhaps even higher.

I enjoy bottled water at meals, but never hesitate to drink tap water in the hotel room or elsewhere when I am thirsty. Two dozen trips to Italy and no signs of water problems yet.

Note that each of us have different collections of bacteria in our intestinal tracts. Changing water supplies, even to bottled water, can often invoke a mild intestinal reaction, as when one travels to another country.

Also worthy of mention: In the US standards of purity for bottled water are lower than for tap water. If the same is true in Europe, then arguably drinking bottled water may be more of a risk than drinking tap water.

The same may not have been true 55 years ago following WWII, but then chocolates and nylons no longer have the same appeal today they had then.
 
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Jul 7th, 2001, 02:22 PM
  #7
JOdy
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I second ed's opinion.. Italy is supposed to have some of the purest drinking water in Europe. I too like bottled water with my meals jsut because I like the fizz, but have nevr had a problem even drinking from the outdoor fountains that are available, NO not the Trevi, etc!!
 
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Jul 7th, 2001, 02:31 PM
  #8
claire
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I've never had trouble with water in Italy. Once, I got stuck in Rome over Easter with no reservations (we thought we had them but....)and ended up at a convent in the Vatican area. We were "overflow" and, as the nuns had no tourist rooms left, they put us up in the temporarily empty childrens' dormitory. The sinks in the dorm bathroom were clearly marked warning the water was not potable. So, we were careful. No problems!
 
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Jul 7th, 2001, 04:55 PM
  #9
Gerry
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Ed is absolutely correct. I lived in Rome for a year with over 100 American students. No one ever got sick from the water. Never even heard of it happening. The bottled water, has a higher mineral content than ours and can make you sick.
Remember the Romans invented the water system that we know today. The only reason they serve bottled water in the restaurants is that by Roman law they can't charge you for the tap water.
Italian big city water is probably safer than in most US locations.
 
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Jul 8th, 2001, 07:09 AM
  #10
Ruth
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I'm interested in the question of whether it is possible to get served tap water in restaurants since we are returning to Italy in the late fall. When we were there 3 years ago, we had bottled water all the time, but would just as soon have tap water. Do restaurants refuse to serve it to you, even if you're also ordering wine?
 
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Jul 8th, 2001, 11:51 AM
  #11
Gerry
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Ruth:
Since the bottled water is usually not that expensive(usually about$1.50 per liter), I never made an issue of it. I just consider it a cost of the meal like the "bread" charge. But, like you, I would just as soon have the regular tap water.
Maybe someone from Rome or somewhere can answer your question?
 
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Jul 8th, 2001, 09:39 PM
  #12
interesting
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Coffee is made with tap water, tea the same, pasta is cooked in tap water, etc., etc. Of course you're getting "small" doses, but if you're truly reluctant to drink the water, you'd have to avoid those things too.

The coffee in Italy is wonderful, and I've not had a problem. I drink bottled water during the day (easier to carry around, etc), wine with meals. I'm not giving up the coffee though...
 
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Jul 9th, 2001, 11:20 AM
  #13
pam
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You certainly may ask for tap water in Italy; I have and was served it without question (I ordered other food/drink, too). Ask for acqua del rubinetto. If you are thirsty you can also go into a bar or gelateria and ask for it; I'd leave a 500 lire coin for the courtesy. Even my husband who sometimes has a 'less-than-iron-clad' stomach had no problems whatsoever in Italy. We refilled our .5L water bottles from the street fountains. Perhaps people tend to order liter bottles of water in Italy because the waiters aren't stopping by your table enquiring after you ever two minutes as they do in the US. Also it seems to me that Europeans are more likely to favor sparkling water than Americans.
 
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Jul 9th, 2001, 12:37 PM
  #14
aaaa
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The tap water is SAFE in Italy. I would fill up my bottle every morning from the hotel faucet. I have a very sensitive stomach and didn't have any problems there. I wouldn't drink from a faucet from the street, but I don't do that in the states either. Those other's who got sick probably got sick from food, which wasn't refrigerated properly.
 
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Jul 9th, 2001, 12:43 PM
  #15
Rosenatti
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For what it's worth, I'll add my voice to the chorus and say that I had no problems with Italian tap water at all. Bottled water tends to taste a little better, though, if that's a factor.
 
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Jul 9th, 2001, 03:40 PM
  #16
kelly
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Everytime I asked for "acqua del rubinetto, per favore" , I was always told something like, no impossible!!! Must order bottle!
 
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Jul 9th, 2001, 04:03 PM
  #17
nANCY
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How about this? I ordered bottled water and received a bottle with a loose lid that tasted like tap water (and was even though the waiter denied it!).
 
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Jul 9th, 2001, 05:27 PM
  #18
cmt
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I drink both tap water and bottled water in Italy. In most of Italy, the tap water is much better than the water in NJ, where I live. If I have a funny feeling about a certain town or city, then I don't drink the water, and I do not cup my hands to drink the tap water from a public toilet or restaurant toilet. (And obviously, if there's a sign saying "acqua non potabile" I don't drink it.) All water, at home and abroad, will have some bacteria and other organisms. I tend to drink a lot of water, generally, and I make a point of drinking a little of both tap and bottled water the first few days, not all one or all the other, so my body can get used to the unfamiliar organisms and minerals. I do not have a "delicate" constitution, but if the water wwere truly contaminated, I'm sure I'd get sick, and I never do. I do not like fizzy water, and often it is rather high in sodium. When ordering bottled water, I prefer the non-effervescent natural varieties. Beware: If you're not used to water with a high mineral content, I think too much bottled mineral water too soon can cause diarrhea, possibly because of the high magnesium content (as in "Milk of______").
 
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Jul 9th, 2001, 05:30 PM
  #19
cmt
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Ruth, I've ordered tap water in restaurants and received it. When I did it, it was not to save money, but to avoid drinking too much mineral water early in the trip before I was used to the high mineral content, or because the restaurant had only gassy water, which I don't like too much.
 
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