To combat pollution, one of many sustainability issues Venice has to face when dealing with tourism, the city is encouraging tourists to drink from water fountains instead of using plastic bottles. While not many visitors may be aware, the city’s tap water is perfectly safe to drink.
It is estimated that tourism is responsible for 28% to 40% of waste production depending on the season, in a city with 50,000 residents and millions of tourists every year.
A main source of pollution is discarded plastic bottles. This is why the local authorities have decided to promote the use of reusable water bottles by encouraging people not buy multiple single use plastic bottles and refill instead at one of the 126 water fountains easily found around town. There’s one around every 100 meters, says Alberto Chinellato, a traffic manager for the city council.
“Encouraging the use of free drinking water produces less waste (...) but also brings fewer bottles in the historic center, which means less pollution and less transport,” Chinellato points out.
To make it even easier for tourists to locate the water fountains, Veritas, the city’s water distribution company, has developed a mobile app that maps all the fountains in the Venice area. By activating the GPS, tourists can find the closest one.
Some Venetian hotels have even printed a map of the local fountains to hand to their guests (besides, sometimes, a water pistol).
From January 2023, Venice will have a tourist tax. Before visiting the lagoon city, people will have to book a spot and pay an entrance fee, which will range from €3 to €10.
If you want to know more about Venice's tap water, click here.