US tourists say Europeans don't drink water, but a viral video shows how local Italians commonly drink from street fountains — and save tons of money on bottled water

  • Earlier this summer, US TikTokers debated whether Europeans consumed an appropriate amount of water.

  • A viral video from late July showed how Roman locals drink free water from street fountains.

  • Many viewers were pleasantly surprised by the concept, but some weren't entirely sold.

In June, a couple of US tourists went viral after they claimed Europeans do not "believe in regular water consumption" and criticized how water costs money in restaurants across Europe. The tourists were met with confused backlash from some viewers, including one TikToker who said she believed people from the US were getting scammed if they were paying for water.

A month later, a new viral clip shows that water culture in Europe (specifically Italy) is not only enriching, it's incredibly accessible.

In the July 25 video, which has been viewed over six million times, a woman who appeared to be a tour guide explained how locals in Rome drink from street fountains called "nasonis," which translates to "large nose."

The first nasonis were constructed in the 1870s and there are now over 2,500 across the city providing free water to locals and tourists, according to the travel website Wanted In Rome. (Nasonis even come equipped with a little basin at the bottom for dogs, the website says.)

"The water runs 24/7 to keep the bacteria off and the sewage clean," the woman in the clip said.

Shen showed how people skillfully place their hands over the fountain spout so no bottle is required and the water sprays directly into one's mouth. The video poster, @jasminebellepak, tried it out and accidentally sent a jet flying into the air, before figuring out how to finesse it properly.

"We saved soooo much money in Italy because of the nazoni!!!," she wrote in the description.

Commenters chimed in to say that the quality of Roman water is top-notch: "I was in Rome last year and I must say the water is the best water in the world," one person wrote. "The best water I've ever had and it's cold," someone else said.

However, not everyone was convinced,  as some questioned whether the nasoni water was safe to drink. "I need someone to swab it and get a water sample to see how dirty it is," a comment with 6,000 upvotes said.

Several expressed concern about how people touching the nozzle could potentially make the fountain dirty.

"As a hypochondriac all I see if the bacteria that fell out of people mouths getting on the fountain hole and being shot right back up," one person wrote.

Their concerns seem to be mostly unfounded. Numerous websites say it's perfectly safe to drink for visitors. The purity of the nasoni water is also tested over 250,000 times annually, according to The New York Times.

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