Strange Planet: Water to Wine

A recent article by the BBC led me to the conclusion that Italy just may be the place for me. After all, who wouldn’t want to visit (or live in!) a land where wine flows like water? Literally.

Just this week, residents of Marino, Italy were pleasantly surprised when, instead of tap water, wine began flowing out of their faucets.

Granted, wine isn’t exactly hard to come by in this smallish town (population around 38,000) southeast of Rome. Each year, beginning on the first Sunday in October, town officials provide approximately 792 gallons of local white wine during the four-day Sagra dell’Uva festival. Oh, and the fountains flow with wine as well.

The latter was the source of the recent fortuitous faucet mishap. Apparently, somewhere in the process of connecting wine to the fountains, an error occurred and the wine was sent to local homes instead. (A popular bar on the town square also benefited from the crossed pipes.)

Marino Mayor Adriano Palozzi told the BBC that the wine flow was short-lived: “Apparently the people living around the square who got the wine coming out of their taps were very surprised, they thought that it might be some kind of present from the local council! It only lasted three minutes, we corrected it straight away.”

The locals living in the town square may have been the only ones to enjoy wine from their faucet, but visitors arrived from the world over to enjoy the rest of the festivities.

The Sagra dell’Uva, which is one of Italy’s oldest grape festivals, commemorates the return of Admiral Marcantonio Colonna and his victory over the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto in October 1571. Admiral Colonna was one of many sons of Marino who participated in the battle and returned safely. 

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Photo: Wine flows from Marino’s famed Fontana dei Quattro Mori during Sagra dell’Uva; courtesy of the Marino Town Council Website

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