“Er nasone” is one of the best known symbols of Rome, born in 1874 to quench the Roman population for free. From the undisputed historical and artistic value to an asset of primary necessity, today it is the subject of strong debate due to water waste.
The “nasone” of Rome were built in 1874 on the initiative of the first mayor of the unitary capital Luigi Panciani and Councilor Rinazzi with the aim of spreading free public water sources on urban soil.
The characteristic name derives from the curved downward trend of the metal tube from which the water flows; originally, however, the fountains were equipped with three dragon head vents.
Nowadays there are about 2500 “nasone” that should quench Rome, 280 inside the walls, while only three examples of the original models remain: the first in Piazza della Rotonda at the Pantheon, the second in via delle Tre Cannelle, not far from the Quirinale and the third, no longer functional, in via di San Teodoro, behind the Roman Forum.
With the thumb or more fingers – by plugging his nose – the cinnamon hole is blocked and suddenly a jet of water like a dolphin’s vent blows out of the air from a smaller hole located on the neck of the tube.
It is the fun of the little ones, the “newfound youth” of the adults, the playful embarrassment of the first dates and the oasis in the height of summer to fight “er callo de Roma”.
Due to water problems, discussions have recently been held to reduce the waste of water in the city; among the advanced solutions there was the proposal to limit the supply of water from the fountains.
Since the beginning of July 2017, Acea has been closing 30 “hake” a day throughout the summer until it comes to a total stop.
It is not only and exclusively a historical and artistic asset, as well as a source of tourist attraction, but first of all a fundamental resource for the entire population, especially for those who, especially in the hottest season, have no chance to quench their thirst elsewhere.
Water is life and denying it, albeit in these ways and for entirely respectable reasons, would amount to a crime.