A woman on TikTok has attempted to debunk the “myth” that has gone viral on the platform this summer about Europeans not drinking water.
Jasmine Pak, who goes by the username @jasminebellepak, posted a video of her tour guide in Italy talking about how accessible water is in the country. The TikTok starts out with text across the screen that reads, “How to get free water in Italy: DON’T BUY WATER.”
The tour guide then began speaking as she could be seen standing next to a fire hydrant-shaped object on the street with a spout coming out of the side. “If you see these fountains in Rome, they are safe to drink,” she advised the group.
“The water runs 24/7 to keep the bacteria off and the sewage clean. The tap water in Rome is the same water that comes out of nasonis.”
Nasonis or Nasone is the name for the street fountains found in Rome, Italy, with the name translating to “large nose.” The first nasonis were constructed in the 1870s and there are now over 2,500 across the city providing free water to locals and tourists, according to the travel website Wanted In Rome.
In the video, the travel guide then showed her tour group how people drink from the nasonis without using a water bottle. The tour guide lightly placed her hand over the bottom of the spout, and water came out of a tiny hole toward the top for people to drink directly out of, similar to a water fountain in the United States.
Pak ended up trying the technique herself and accidentally sprayed herself in the face with the stream of water before figuring out the right amount of pressure to use. "We saved soooo much money in Italy because of the nazoni!!!” she wrote in the TikTok’s description.
The video comes amid a number of TikTok videos from tourists talking about how inaccessible water is in Europe. In a TikTok video from July, Brenna, who goes by the username @br3nnak3ough, shared footage of herself and her friends on a trip in Europe. The video went on to show the three women chugging bottles of water while on what appeared to be the streets of Barcelona.
Brenna poked fun at why they were drinking water so quickly, and why they were dehydrated on the trip. “Us the moment we find water because Europeans don’t believe in water,” she wrote in the text over the video.
In a video posted in April, @ditchthedistrict claimed that she drinks more water than Europeans do. Her video included footage of her small cups of water while at a restaurant, along with the bottles of water that she brought into her home.
“Everywhere I go, I’m drinking the same amount of water as the three other people at the table combined. I’m hoarding water bottles in my room,” she said. “I feel like my organs are turning into beef jerky [because] they’re so dry. I can drink a whole bottle of water before my first course even comes at a restaurant.”
Since Pak’s video was posted on 25 July, it’s been viewed over six million times. However, the comments were conflicted over whether or not visitors to Rome should actually drink the water.
Some thought the concept was great and said they enjoyed it drinking out of the fountains. “The best water I’ve ever had and it’s cold,” one comment read. “Thank you because I’m seeing so many videos of the girlies complaining about Europe not having any water and living on store bought water bottles,” another commenter wrote.
However, others warned that bacteria can have a negative effect on newcomers if they aren’t used to it. “Pro-tip, probably don’t don’t do this if you are not local to the region. That bacteria can rlly mess ya up!” one commenter wrote.
“Foreigners aren’t used to the water so they usually get sick from drinking from their, I recommend bottled,” another person advised.