Italy opens first-ever 24-hour free wine fountain

A free wine fountain could become Italy's most popular tourist attraction.

A free wine fountain could become Italy's most popular tourist attraction.  (alexmak72427)

In most areas of the world, public drinking fountains expel regular old tap water. But not in Italy. 

The newest public drinking fountain in Caldari di Ortona in Abruzzo flows red with rivers of wine-- and it’s free to the public.

This 24 hour-seven day a week “fontana del vino” was installed by the Dora Sarchese vineyard, a winery in nearby Ortona. There’s no catch or gimmick, the vineyard owners explained. Nor is the fountain for “drunkards” or “louts,” they noted on the vineyard’s Facebook page.

They simply wanted to provide a service that had been previously unheard of in Italian history, according to The Local.

"The wine fountain is a welcome, the wine fountain is poetry," Dora Sarchese posted.

The wine fountain is located along a popular trail, the Cammino di San Tommaso, which is used by thousands of Catholics every year on the pilgrimage to see the remains of Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples. Now, travelers  can enjoy some Biblical-style refreshment alone the long journey.

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Until now, wine fountains in Italy had only been used for holidays and special occasions. One of the most famous is in Marino (just south of Rome) where white wine rather than water flows from the public water fountain taps for an hour during the city's annual grape festival.

This is the first known fountain to distribute free wine all day, every day.