Rome installs hi-tech free water dispensers

Casa dell'Acqua kiosks offer free still and sparkling water and phone charging facilities.

Rome has unveiled a kiosk that dispenses free water, both still and sparkling, on Via dei Fori Imperiali outside the Colosseum metro station.

Ten water kiosks have already been installed around the suburbs but now the capital's mayor Ignazio Marino wants more kiosks in the centre of Rome, ahead of the upcoming Holy Jubilee year.

The green Casa dell'Acqua kiosk is designed in the style of the hexagonal newspaper stands in Rome's historic centre and is part of a €3 million project funded by energy supplier ACEA.

Described by the city as a "nasone hi-tech", the water dispensers also provide recharging points for telephones and mobile devices, as well as offering touch-screen tourist information.

ACEA says that by 2016 the greater Rome area will have 100 Casa dell'Acqua units. In the coming weeks kiosks will be installed where they will be most needed by thirsty pilgrims, in areas such as Castel S. Angelo, the metro stops at Cipro and Ottaviano, and the train station at S. Pietro.

See related article about mineral water industry in Italy.