Vatican Shuts Off Historical Fountains Amid Italy Drought

One of the fountains designed by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini that adorn

All 100 Vatican City fountains, including two Baroque masterpieces in St Peter's Square, will be shut off in the coming days as a drought sweeps Rome and other parts of Italy.

The Vatican began turning off its fountains due to an ongoing drought in Italy, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Around 100 fountains are affected by the move, which Vatican Radio also said was linked with Pope Francis's teachings on the environment. Less than usual rainfalls in the past two years have steadily depleted the lake, which provides 8 percent of the city's water supply.

"This is the Vatican's way of living in solidarity with Rome, trying to help Rome get through this crisis", Greg Burke, a Vatican spokesperson said in a recent interview.

Vatican Radio said all of Vatican City's fountains will go dry, including those in its gardens, to help save water.


The dry basins of the two fountains by 17th-century sculptors Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini are symbolic of a period of sweltering temperatures which has devastated farms and forced Rome to consider water rationing.

"The truth is Lake Bracciano has fallen too much and we risk an environmental disaster", Nicola Zingaretti, the President of the local Lazio region, told Tgcom24 TV station, as cited by Reuters, adding that "it is a tragedy".

Now, Rome is considering the drastic step of rationing water.

While the source of water was once provided from an ancient Roman aqueduct, the two fountains, as well as 10 percent of Vatican City State's 100 fountains "recirculate water now", Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, told Catholic News Service in a July 25 email. "Let's not waste water".

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