Water Fountains, Rome
On a typical summer day the average person needs to bring at least a couple of bottles of water to view the forum. The vast majority of people don't, and when faced with the desert like reality, they become victims of the conveniently located street sellers and their over priced water. So long as you have a container there really isn't any need to give them a cent because (in contrast with other Italian archaeolocial sites) there are strategicly placed drinking water fountains to cool you down when you are in danger of imminent collapse! "Drink deeply of this place" ?
Most restaurants around the typical tourist sites are simply overpriced...
Fun Alternatives: So if you're dying for a sip of water, just drink from one of the many small fountains around. Or, if you don't trust the good old Roman pipelines, you can go to a supermarket and even buy a little something to eat.
This one is called Despar and is directly by the Pantheon on the way to Piazza Navona. They have anything a tourist's heart desires.
Many guide books suggest a visit to Tivoli, a villa outside of Rome, home of a fancy villa with extensive gardens filled with hundreds of fountains. There's nothing in the villa. not much anyway, besides a few frescos on the walls of one or two rooms. And most of the fountains are little squirts out of the ground. Yes there are a small number of more elaborate fountains, like the one in this photo dedicated to the fertility goddess. The town as well had little to recommend it.
Fun Alternatives: Day trip to Orvieto or Sienna by train.
I was in Rome in the middle of July and ended up drinking four 2-litre bottles of water everyday. It was costing me a small fortune. There are loads of fountains all over Rome - don't let their toilet cistern appearance put you off - the water is ice-cold, fresh and safe to drink.
Unique Suggestions: The Aqua water shop in the Termini Station has the cheapest bottled water in Rome - buy there if you have just arrived and can't find a water fountain.