Vatican Shuts Down Fountains as Drought Hits Rome Italy

26 July, 2017, 00:32 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • One of the fountains of St Peter's Square turned off by the Holy See

All fountains within Vatican City have been switched off in a show of solidarity with Italy as the country endures a prolonged drought.

Vatican Radio said the move was in line with Pope Francis's teachings on the environment.

"Essentially, the water that comes into the Vatican comes from the same place as where the water comes and goes to Rome, and this is our way of trying to help out the city", he continued.

The Governorate of Vatican City State has chose 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.

According to Mr. Burke, this is the first time that the Vatican, which is home to over 1.2 billion Catholics, has been forced to turn off the fountains.

Pilgrims and visitors alike have marveled at the majestic fountains of St. Peter's Square that have cascaded water for centuries since their construction in the 17th century.


Caring for the planet and its resources is an important issue for Pope Francis, who demanded swift action by world leaders in the first ever papal document dedicated to the environment.

"This decision is very much in line with the pope's thinking on ecology", Burke said.

"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.

This came after 74 percent less than normal precipitation in June, and a 56 percent reduction in rainfall from the long-term average in March to May 2017.

Italy also experienced its third driest spring in 60 years this year.

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