Cinque Terre has always been one of the best places in the world to hike. But now it just got better – there is no need to carry water. On September 6, 2010, Cinque Terre launched a program called “Sbottigliamoci”, promoting the replacement of plastic water bottles with the use of public water fountains strategically placed for tourists.
Most hikers in Cinque Terre don’t realize that in each of the five villages, there is already at least one public water fountain. And these fountains deliver some of the best water you will ever drink – fresh, safe, clean and cool.
But this new program will supply water from new public fountains, and there will be more of them. In the coming months, there will be four at the train station piazza in Riomaggiore, one of which will be handicap accessible, followed by fountains in Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare.
At the press of a button, you can have fresh water at room temperature, or refrigerated still or sparkling water. Imagine, chilled sparkling water from a fountain at the end of a hike! There will even be the possibility to purchase one liter, resuable biodegrable flasks for 1 euro, for taking along longer hikes. Since they are stamped with the Cinque Terre logo, they will be great souvenirs.
The communes of Cinque Terre and Il Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre have launched this program to reduce the number of plastic bottles that are collected from the trails, sea and beaches each year – 2 million of them! So by purchasing and using one of their flasks with a logo, you also have a token of your involvement in keeping the park clean and maintaining its natural beauty, something which should concern every hiker and indeed, every tourist.
The program is aimed at everyone, from visitors to merchants to citizens. This is a sincere effort to contribute to the health and well-being of not only the environment, through the reduction of garbage but also to consumers through the provision of fresh water, checked at least once daily, that has not been sitting in plastic bottles, possibly up to 12 months.
With such stunning natural beauty, this project can only contribute to maintaining that. Bravo, Cinque Terre!