The first 'wine fountain' just opened in Italy - and it's free

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Italy's best fountain? Photo: Dora Sarchese Vineyard
11:47 CEST+02:00
Red wine flowing from a fountain, offering a refreshment at the end of a long walk... it sounds too good to be true, but on Sunday, a wine fountain was inaugurated in central Italy.

Locally-produced wine will flow from the fountain in Abruzzo, the first of its kind, and it's accessible 24/7.

The best part? It's completely free to help yourself to a glass.

The fontana del vino is located in Caldari di Ortona, in Abruzzo, along a popular pilgrimage route, the Cammino di San Tommaso.

Photo: Dora Sarchese Vineyard

"The wine fountain is a welcome, the wine fountain is poetry," the Dora Sarchese vineyard wrote on its Facebook page.

It noted that the fountain was not a place for "drunkards" or "louts", nor was it a "publicity stunt".

Thousands of pilgrims and tourists make the journey from Rome to Ortona, in order to visit the city's cathedral where the remains of Thomas, one of Jesus' disciples, are kept. The new fountain is a joint project of the vineyard and the non-profit organization which maintains and promoted the pilgrimage route.

Inspiration came from a similar red wine fountain installed along the Spanish pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago, a few years ago.

Tourists watch red wine flow from the fountain. Photo: Dora Sarchese Vineyard

The Ortona fountain is not the first in Italy to offer wine, but its creators describe it as the country's first 'proper' wine fountain, because the wine will be accessible every day. 

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Some other fountains in Italy have been used to distribute wine, but only on special occasions such as local festivals. One of the most famous is in Marino, south of Rome; during the town's annual grape festival, for one hour white wine rather than water flows from the taps.

In 2008, a technical error - or was it a miracle? - saw the wine of Marino channelled into local homes instead of the fountain.

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