Italy, along with France, is one of Europe’s recognised homes of mineral water, and Italians are one of the World’s largest consumers by head of population. This is also reflected in the prolifera of national and regional brands found across the country. The drinking of mineral water as an accompaniment to wine, rather than an alternative, is a long established tradition and very much evident in restaurants and homes today. The history of mineral water in Italy goes back to Roman times and the Romans’ interest in good mineral water springs and their thermal spas. Early Vatican records also note deliveries of mineral water consignments, and reflecting this early interest from the church a significant proportion of Italian mineral waters are named after saints. Italians’ preference remains for sparkling waters including such famous internationally recognized brands as San Pellegrino and Ferrarelle.
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