Italians Line Up for Sparkling Water on Tap

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waterfountain2 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.jpgTrust the Italians to take back the tap in style. First, the Mayor of Venice, Massimo Cacciari, asked Venetians and tourists to drink tap water with his 'Aqua Veritas' campaign. Now Milan's city council has teamed up with small towns in the Milan area to provide sparkling water on tap.

Italians are some of the biggest consumers of bottled water in Europe. The average Italian family spends between $350 - $700 dollars per year on still and sparkling water to cater to the tastes of family members and guests, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

That's changed since the economic slowdown. Many families stopped buying still bottled water to save money. But those who preferred sparkling had no choice - that is until the city council started providing sparkling water on tap.

Case dell'acqua, or "houses of water," are colorful, houselike buildings with two faucets pumping cool water on demand. One faucet provides regular tap water while the second pumps CO2 with the water like a soda fountain. The CO2 is stored in a cryogenic tank.

So, if you're traveling through Milan this summer, don't forget your reusable bottle. You'll be able to tell your friends that you drank 'bubbly,' courtesy of the Mayor of Milano!

Photo: Anna Momigliano