|Sample of an Italian woman filling bottles at a water fountain in Tarcento, Italy|
I know, we all enjoy making love in the shower, sometimes, with water running hot down our body for over 1 hour. We need to tend our garden, our bonsai needs to be watered everyday.
Other than that, you've got to be kidding me!
Traveling to the small town of Tarcento, in the north of Italy, I discovered how the Italians - and the Europeans in general - are so much more water-conscious.
Many cities and towns in Italy are involved in a project called "Casa dell'Acqua", "Water House". In the little town of Tarcento, in particular, the project takes the name of "Buine di Bevi", which in the local dialect means "good to drink".
A water fountain is located in the town center. Two taps provide still and naturally sparkling water through a line of pipes directly from the spring, which is in the Musi mountain chain, north of Tarcento. And - listen up - the water is free (well, 5c a liter for the sparkling water).
What are the advantages?
Taste New York City's tap water, or Montreal's for that matter, after you've tasted Tarcento's and you'll figure it out by yourself.
1- The people in there drink pure water from the mountain spring that has been filtered, disinfected, declorized, kept at spring temperature, and whose pipes are constantly kept under control, cleaned and changed if needed.
If this is not healthy, I don't know what is, then.
2- This idea reduces the water costs per family, but not the quality of the water they drink which, with all due respect, here in North America is less than a dream.
3- People are becoming aware of the importance of water in times when unlimited consumption is neither a good nor an ethical choice.
4- Bottles usage is drastically reduced. People gather at this nice billabong with bottles, mostly of glass, they've been re-using for months.
They gather. With their bags swollen with bottles they seat on some wooden benches, waiting for their turn at the tap. As they wait, they talk with each other, asking how's the wife, and the kids, in the meanwhile, are playing a few yards away on the sidewalk, just outside of a small bar. Yes, it is downright beautiful.
They slow down their rhythm by introducing a priceless habit, the ritual of manually getting their own water, transporting it, and enjoying every single moment of the act. And retirees won't pack the post office. God knows how much Xanax, Citalopram, or Inderal this would save us!
Let's keep laughing at the Italians then, those poor son of a bitches, with their Berlusconis, their failing warfare, and their ridiculous politics. But you should consider that, sometimes, they come up with something as precious as you will never find here in America. Never.