The Vatican has decided to turn off its famous fountains for the first time in living memory as hot dry weather triggers severe water shortages across Italy.
“The drought that is affecting the city of Rome and the surrounding areas of the capital has led the Holy See to take measures to save water,” the Vatican said on its website.
“The Governorate of Vatican City State has decided to turn off all the fountains, both the external ones located in St. Peter’s Square, and the interior fountains including those in the Vatican Gardens.”
The Vatican has around 100 decorative and drinking fountains, including two 500-year-old marble masterpieces in St. Peter’s Square.
It’s decision follows that of the separate Rome authorities, who have also begun to turn off some of the 2,500 drinking fountains that give the eternal city its character, as well as quenching people’s thirsts in the hot summer months, a spokesman for Acea, the utility firm which runs Rome’s water system, told CNN.