Vatican turns off fountains so Rome can save water during drought

Italy is struggling with a severe drought , so to save water, the Vatican is shutting off its famous fountains.

The Vatican said online it turned off the external fountains in St. Peter's Square and all interior fountains, including those in the Vatican Gardens.

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Media reports estimate the Vatican has about 100 fountains.

A spokesperson told Reuters the move is Pope Francis' way of helping Rome through the crisis.

"This decision is very much in line with the pope's thinking on ecology: You can't waste, and sometimes you have to be willing to make a sacrifice," Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke said.

Italy has experienced one of its driest springs in 60 years, and it's costing the country's farmers billions of dollars.

The most beautiful places in Italy - as voted by you
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The most beautiful places in Italy - as voted by you
Popular with the rich and famous, the island of Capri provides a myriad of designer boutiques, top-notch restaurants and luxury hotels. Travellers who are more interested in Capri's natural beauty will adore the rugged landscape, secluded bays and towering rock formations.
A charming town in Arezzo, Cortona dates back to Etruscan and Roman times, offering interesting places to visit like the Santa Margherita Sanctuary and Girifalco Fortress, as well as spectacular views of the surrounding valley.
A unique mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, featuring 18 craggy peaks which rise above 3,000 metres, the Dolomites has some of the most beautiful landscapes found anywhere in the world.
Venice supplies endless hours of discovery and enjoyment, whether visitors come to sip bellinis at Harry’s Bar, laze on the quiet garden terraces of the Hotel Cipriani, or just to explore the quiet Carnareggio and stop for lunch locally at Trattoria Misericordia.
Often considered Italy's most attractive stretch of coastline, the Amalfi Coast is characterised by its soaring mountain peaks, colourful towns and glamorous lifestyle. Positano, Amalfi and Ravello are popular towns to visit, offering an abundance of restaurants, picture-postcard views and sandy beaches.
San Gimignano's medieval towers can be seen from miles away, while the city offers plenty of churches, squares and artwork to explore.
The largest of Italy's lakes, Garda boasts colourful towns, beaches for sunbathing and plenty of hiking, cycling and sailing opportunities.
The Sibillini Mountains is a stunning stretch of the Apennine Mountains to the South West of Le Marche, which feature rivers, gorgeous waterfalls and caves, with peaks that include ten over 2,000 metres high.
Of Europe’s great capitals, Rome steals the show for its raw beauty and its cache of historical remains. Its very name conjures iconic images: the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican...
Straddling Italy and Switzerland, Lake Maggiore offers classical villas, beautiful promenades and the pretty Borromean Islands.
One of Tuscany's best-loved cities, Lucca is a lovely day trip destination for fans of history, archaeology and simply strolling the ancient streets with a gelato in hand.
For decades, the desolate beaches and arid lunar landscapes that make up Sardinia have attracted in-the-know travellers, the affluent and celebrities eager to splash in its shallow turquoise coves and party on its Costa Smeralda.
A picturesque hilltop town in Umbria, Todi is straight out of a fairytale with its soft-stone houses, elegant piazzas and slow pace.
Just a weekend break in the mountain town of Bergamo is enough to fall in love with its impressive art and architecture. It's the perfect alternative to Milan.
Famed for its sea cliffs, Sorrento's steep slopes look out over azure waters to Ischia, Capri and the Bay of Naples. The birthplace of Limoncello liqueur offers some good diving, great sea fishing, boat cruises and appetizing restaurants.
With its iconic shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, cobbled streets and Gothic architecture, Siena is an unforgettable Tuscan city.
A gorgeous spot that's a convenient day trip from Milan, Lake Como is famous as a home to Hollywood star George Clooney, but is also known for its jaw-dropping natural beauty and elegant old villas.
Some of the greatest Italian Renaissance achievements unfolded in Florence - which is why large swathes of the Tuscan capital seem more like an open museum than a lived-in city.
This picturesque peninsula on Lake Garda is famous for its thermal waters with healing powers and the 13th century Scaligeri Castle.
With beaches, history and glorious architecture, Sicily seduces travellers with its amazing culture - including the diverse cuisine.
A terrific alternative to overcrowded Capri in the summer, the island of Ischia, off Naples, is not short of tourists, but offers its own unique charm.

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