Arsenic and Old Water

Judy, the program's founder, who has been coming to Italy since she was a teenager, told us this year not to drink the water. That it has arsenic in it. Our way of staying hydrated has always been to carry around a plastic water bottle and fill it up any time we see a water spout. They have these things all over. It's always cold and clean. Or clear anyway. I, frankly, ignored the warnings because there are always things to ignore, like you can't rent a car without an international driver's license.  For years I made the trip to AAA to buy one and have never been asked to show it. All set with that little exercise.

But when Owen experienced excruciating stomach pains, and alternating hot and cold sweats, I did some Googling about arsenic. Sure enough, in February of 2013, the country put a ban on drinking water from public fountains in certain areas of Italy where there is high volcanic ash content (including arsenic). The areas most effected are those north of Italy, primarily Viterbo. Us. Symptoms  of arsenic poisoning from water are all things Owen experienced, except death (in rare cases, thank God). A few hours later, Henry was stricken, too. So we buy our drinking water now... Still living on the edge using tap for tea and coffee (also banned), but so far no issues with that.

You can buy water (really cheap!) in a six-pack of double liters.
They're particularly big and unwieldy. The garlic head is there for perspective.