There are about 2,500 fountains for public use scattered throughout the city starting from the oldest one and still functioning in Piazza della Rotonda, facing the Pantheon.
The famous “Nasoni” of Rome, wanted and built by the Municipality since 1874, owe their nickname to the particular shape that characterizes them: a curved metal tube, from which water comes out that falls directly to the sewer pipe. Initially the water gushed without interruption, no type of device regulated the waste. Subsequently, since 1980, a roller and button mechanism were applied to the numerous fountains to close the duct and open it only in case of necessity. This stratagem was not very pleasing, especially to the vandals and it lasted very little, only the time to deprive the big nose of their fundamental characteristic, the direct and current outflow of the water, to symbolize abundance and wealth.
In Piazza della Rotonda, right in front of the Pantheon and in front of the monumental fountain, it is possible to drink at the first big nose of Rome, still perfectly working. This is the first model made, with dragon heads placed more or less at half the length of the cylinder.The map of the 200 “Nasoni” in the historic center of Rome, created by the Acea company to offer a curious itinerary to discover the city, is available online, in Italian and in English.