Drinking fountains of Florence and Tuscany
One of the surprises about Italian cycling is that most riders carry only one water bottle, even on the hottest days. In Tuscany you are never far from the next village, and in virtually every village there’s a public water fountain. These seem to date from the days before running water was ubiquitous.
Even in the center of Florence, where hot days can leave tourists parched prey for vendors of €2 bottled water, most main squares have a drinking fountain, but they can be hard to spot. Check out the west end of the Piazza Repubblica, the north side of the Palazzo Vecchio, the middle of the Ponte Vecchio, and even the Boboli Gardens.
Finding these fountains in villages is a bit like hunting for mushrooms – if you look long enough you start to develop a sense for where they might be and they start popping into your vision. Look for small squares, benches, maybe a playground.
I’ve made an interactive Google map showing the location of known drinking fountains in Florence and Tuscany. If you know the area and can contribute fountain locations, drop me a note and I’ll add you as a contributor to the map. And here’s a link to a gallery of photos of many of these handsome fountains.