ROME – An Italian town has unveiled a wine fountain where visitors can top up their bottles with wine without paying a penny.
Cantina Dora Sarchese has unveiled their new wine fountain, which will be open to tourists and pilgrims travelling along the Cammino di San Tommaso, or route of St Thomas, between Rome and Ortona.
The fountain, situated in Caldari di Ortona, a commune in Abruzzo region, will be open to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to Decanter.
The Abruzzo region is known for its red wines, made from the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grape, but there are also several other varieties that can be used for red wines.
Wine is dispensed from button operated taps, which are installed over a stone basin while the whole fountain is situated inside a giant wine barrel.
According to Decanter, the tipple that will be flowing from the taps will be red wine although the grape variety is not known.
It was a joint project between the owner of Dora Sarchese winery, Nicola D’Auria, and Cammino di San Tommaso, which promotes the pilgrimage route in the region.
It is intended as a ‘gift’ to St Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, whose relics are kept at the cathedral in Ortona.
As such, the wine is primarily intended as refreshments for pilgrims although anyone can drink from it. But the winery has warned would-be visitors that the fountain is ‘not a place for drunks’.
Visitors will be able to access the wine fountain any time the winery is open and by appointment only on weekends.
It is not the first public wine fountain in Italy. Different kinds of wine fountains can be found in Venice, and in Spanish cities.
Tudor England’s King Henry VIII and France’s King Francis I had a wine fountain for courtiers to enjoy during their meeting in 1520, according to the UK’s Royal Collection Trust.