I've been reading up on how to order water and other non-carbonated, non-alcoholic beverages. I realize that this may be a challenge for me in the land of fine wines however I'm sure it will be a good adventure as well. Any thoughts?
No challenge. Super easy, especially in France.
Un carafe d'eau, s'il vous plait.....
That's what I do...
The version of this question under Food & Drink has more responses collecting.
Hi! As an avid water drinker, I thought I'd chime in.
If you're willing to pay for water, it's never a problem anywhere. The biggest difference is that many Europeans often drink sparkling mineral water or water "mit gas" (With Gas). I develop a taste for it when I'm there. For flat water or regular bottled water as we know it here, I found that the universal word is "Naturale." This word was understood everywhere. Second after that is "No gas." Often times a waiter will ask which you prefer. If you have a Rick Steves guidebook for that country it will likely have that in the local language. Spanish: Sin Gas (Without Gas) German: Stille Wasser (Still Water). Easy enough :) Remember though, that if you order water "Naturale," "Sin Gas," or "Stille Wasser," you're likely to get bottled water which you'll have to pay for.
Italians are most confused by requests for bottled water. Further South than Italy, I drink only bottled water. Tap water is easy enough to get in France and some of the English speaking countries. In Italy, remember the phrase "acqua di rubinetto." I've been refused once...only once. Some waiters will like you much more if you pay for drinks but I'm usually a budget traveler and can't always afford to sway to public opinion as we Americans tend to drink more water every day. They don't seem to mind as much if you order a glass of wine with your tap water (order the wine first).
Very helpful posts, thank you. I apologize for the redundant posting.