The Galvanina Springs near the town of Rimini, in the Emilia-Romagna region, is one of Italy’s oldest springs. Its healthful mineral water has been renowned since ancient Roman times.
Legend has it that back then two lovers memorialized their passion by carving their initials and the words Omnia Vincit Amor, “Love Conquers All,” into the base of the spring’s fountain. Today, couples still come to drink from the springs and the so-called “Fountain of Love.” The water flowing from this famed spring started miles away as snow and rain falling on the Apennine Mountains collecting in pools underground. The water then slowly passes through sandstone and clay, becoming naturally carbonated and enriched with a delicate balance of minerals. The water travels more than two years, an amazing 30 months, through this natural ecological filter composed of tightly packed quartz sand protected by gigantic banks of clay dating back to the Pliocene era in its trip from the Apennine’s to Rimini where it bubbles out of the spring ready to be bottled.
To discover for myself why these springs there have been written about for centuries, I recently visited the Galvanina company www.galvanina.com that first began bottling this sparkling water in 1901.
The Galvanina company built a long underground tunnel, with glass lined observation windows, so visitors could view part of the spectacular natural filtration system the spring water travels.
At the end of a long tunnel was a faucet so visitors could sample water flowing directly from the spring right into their glass. I took a sip. Astonishing. I never realized water could taste so fantastic. Uniquely crisp and fresh with clean balanced minerality.
“In the past bottled mineral water was only for the very wealthy, costing more than even wine,” notes Rino Mini, CEO of Galvania. “Bringing the purest, highest quality bottled spring water to beloved consumers has been our honored mission since my grandfather founded Galvinina over 100 years ago.”
During excavations made by Galvanani back in the 1960s to create the viewing tunnel and repair the ancient Roman fountain, they discovered a remarkable number of archeological finds. If you visit Rimini, be sure to stop by the Galvanina Museum to see these interesting unearthed objects including a marble bust dating to the time of Caesar Augustus (1st century BC), ancient Roman amphora, terracotta water pies and a Renaissance (16th century) coat-of-arms carved in stone that is now incorporated into the Galvanina logo.
After this visit I truly understood that not all sparkling water is the same. Galvanina water is naturally effervescent, while other sparkling waters have bubbles added to them using carbon dioxide. Great to drink with or after a meal because many people claim it helps facilitate digestion.
There are so many ways to enjoy it:
- Add sliced fruit, veggies or herbs for do-it-yourself natural thirst quencher.
- Use it to brew espresso or coffee. Not only will you get a tastier hot beverage, but it will keep your coffee maker cleaner and prevent it from building unpleasant residue.
- Steam vegetables in Galvanina sparkling water to keep their bright color. Mineral water also softens the vegetables so they need less time to cook and retain more of their natural nutrients.
- Add sparkling mineral water instead of water or other liquids in cake recipes or cake mixes. The sparkling water makes it rise nicely and results in a fluffier texture. It’s perfect for batter too, making anything you fry crunchier and lighter.
Galvanina Natural Spring Water is available at Costco, Fresh Direct, Barrons Markets in San Diego & other fine stores around the United States.
Written and contributed by Francine Segan
For more info on Francine’s books, talks and cooking classes visit her website at: www.FrancineSegan.com
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