The Vatican Turned Off Its Fountains So Rome Can Save Water

A severe drought across Italy has made preserving water a top priority this summer.

All 100 Vatican City fountains, including two Baroque masterpieces in St Peter's Square, will be shut off in the coming days as a drought sweeps Rome and other parts of Italy.

The Vatican has shut off the water at its fountains, including in St. Peter's Square.

. Around 100 fountains in total have been switched off, according to Reuters.


The decision reflects the pro-environment teachings of Pope Francis' Laudato Sii encyclical on climate change, the official Vatican broadcaster said.

The dry basins of the two fountains by 17th-century sculptors Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini are symbolic of a period of sweltering temperatures which has devastated farms and forced Rome to consider water rationing.

The Po valley is one of Italy's most fertile areas. Burke told Reuters that turning off the historic fountains is "the Vatican's way of living solidarity with Rome, trying to help Rome get through this crisis".


In Rome, Mayor Virginia Raggi issued a ban on the use of domestic water for gardening, filling up swimming pools or washing cars or motorbikes, to be enforced with fines of up to 500 euros.

Ten regions across the country have called for a state of emergency to be declared after Italy suffered the second-driest spring in 60 years and rainfall in the first six months of the year was down 33 per cent.

In an interview with Italian news outlet Tgcom24, Nicola Zingaretti, the region's president, said the lake's water level has "fallen too much and we risk an environmental disaster".


Some 300 of the city's famous "big nose" public fountains - so called due to their shape - have already been turned off and more will follow.


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