A tour agency actually said that this is dangerous to drink from

My bestie Hema was ambitious and decided to go on a two week Europe tour. Personally for me, I wouldn’t recommend such a compact trip as it would be such too rushed to be enjoyed properly. Nevertheless, I had to respect her decision.


Anyway, Cart and I managed to meet up with Hema and her hubby for pizza and they started to talk about their experience in Rome. And just as I’ve expected, it was a tiring day for them, as they walked all over, visiting all the major monuments in one day.

And then we started to talk about the comparisons of prices. Like 4 euro for a gelato while my favourite gelateria would be 2.5 euro. Nevertheless, it was understandable since they were in a touristy area after all.

But the scandalous part of all was when she told me, “The tour agency said that the water fountains next to the road is not safe to drink” I was completely dumbfounded.

They said that this is because the components of the water is different compared to the water in Singapore” She added.

It was just so incredulous to me. This is unsafe? This?

This is a Nasone. Literally translated, it means “Big Nose”. It’s a water fountain where anyone who is in Italy can drink from freely. The source of the water is from a spring and while some fountains may look dirty, it is completely safe to drink from.

I mean, I’ve been drinking from this since 2005 when I first visited Cart and Cart as well as a zillion Italians has been drinking this since they were children and no one has been dead from water contamination yet. So what gives?!

You can check this out in the 7.50 mark in this video I made in 2007

It was then when I learnt that the agency charged money selling their own bottles of water for about a euro each. Sound cheap? You could get them for 30 cents in a regular supermarket here in Rome.

Imagine the profit you’ll have for one person. Now imagine it for 40 passengers. Now imagine it for the next 14 days. All for just water.

And that’s just the water part. I haven’t included entry tickets for monuments (They had to pay 3 times more to enter monuments compared to regular ticket prices) additional bus petrol fees (wtf? Shouldn’t that be included already?) and other transportation fees as well as TIP for the bus driver.

Woah. What a rip off. I’d rather travel by myself.

9 Replies to “A tour agency actually said that this is dangerous to drink from”

  1. tsk tsk to bad tour agent, ripping people off…
    i think most would rather just buy their own or boil some in hotel than pay for such expensive distilled water… -_-

    1. Even tap water is fine without being boiled. The only difference between the water in Europe and in Asia is that Europe water is “hard” and contains more calcium. But apart from that, it is completely safe to drink.

      I’m still alive πŸ˜›

  2. On the topic of paying everything.. it’s the same here in Venice. Businesses here see tourists as bags of money and ready to rip them off big time! It’s terrible ;( I’ve been drinking water from my own tap and also outside and still in one good piece πŸ™‚

  3. DId your friend join a local tour group or an international one for her Europe tour? What’s the name of this rip off tour agency????

    1. She bought a package under a very famous Singapore tour group agency but when she landed in Europe, it was handed over to another one. For personal reasons, she asked me not to say the name openly, but I can let you know in private.

  4. Many moons ago, hubs n I were in Rome for a week, with a tour group. First thing we noticed was the absence of a tour guide as promised, when we went on the daily coach tours. We bought our own entree tickets at each destination. The first n last dinner were supposed to be complimentary but we were presented with the bills. The whole group pitched in to avoid an altercation with the agitated staff who thought we were going to leave without paying. U know how excited the italians can get – all that hand gestures ! The chinese restaurants doesnt serve free glass of water. They brought us bottles of expensive mineral water. Since last year, dutch restaurants here r obliged to offer diners the choice of free tap water or paid mineral water (2,50 euro per glass). I understand they make easy money with drinks n soups (4 euro per serving) but for the diners, it’s overpriced liquid consumption.

    Another unpleasant experience was a tour we took from SG to M’sia for 10days. The driver was more concerned abt earning his commissions with the traders than sticking to the itinerary/sightseeing. They ushered the group from shop to shop where we were literally confined within. The way the staff “locked” us in while the long demonstration went on came across as threatening. We were persuaded to sit it out when we tried to leave ! After a day of such experience, we went our own way whenever the coach stops at yet another sales demo. Hubs says the group (mainly chinese) was more interested in shopping n eating (yes, stopping at roadside durian stalls along the dusty roads !) instead of soaking up the culture which was the main purpose of the trip.

    We were very surprised when alighting the coach back in SG – our fellow travellers were generously tipping both drivers ! We refrained from doing it. The tour was overpriced considered how little we got in return ! Should hv written the agency n voiced our displeasure, but we doubt they would ever respond.

  5. Oh… when I was in Rome last year, the first thing I got was a free bottle of water from Nestle! It was at the train station and they were giving out samples!

    After that, we kept the bottles and filled them with water from the water fountains by the road side! It was nice and cold! I thought the water fountain near the Colosseum tasted especially nice! LOL

    When we ate at restaurants, we were served san pellegrino or acqua panna in the big bottles. But we realise they don’t charge ridiculous pricing like in Singapore. Still affordable!

    p/s Folks from Singapore who travel to Rome, it’s safe to drink the water from the fountains! Did not have any problem and I drank lots of it! πŸ™‚

  6. What a rip off! I also drank from all these water fountains when I was there. I even filled my bottle in Vatican once – my friend said that’s holy drinking water hahahahahah

    wikitravel FTW! (no lonely planet – too ex)

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