A new heat wave struck the Italian peninsula on Thursday according to the weather service in Italy. In some areas, the temperature has risen above 40 degree.
Rome – can be unbearably hot even without a heat wave – some ideas to stay cool ( or shall we say try to stay cooler) – start your sightseeing very early, there are some great early morning Vatican Tours, and walking tours*, visit the fountains and stand down wind where the spray gently cools you off, ( don’t make the faux pas of wading in the fountain – just NOT done), stop at one of the many wonderful gelato shops ( several times a day) to try the many flavors, the fruit flavors are especially refreshing, when you go to eat….if you sit outside find one of the many charming sidewalk cafes, trattorias or pizzerias, on the shady side of the street, or in one of the tiny back lanes of Rome, ( always in the shade), or if you must, sit inside an air conditioned roman restaurant, speaking of air conditioning you could also sit for a few minutes in the lobby of a big air conditioned hotel ( cheating I know – but if you’re really dragging might do wonders) order a cold spritz or aperativo and I’m sure they’ll let you stay; take your time walking through the Villa Borghese Museum or any other museum for that matter – as they are climate controlled for the art, even if you’ve had enough ‘art’ for a while – it may be worth the price of admission; want something free to cool off? check out the many beautiful churches of Rome, sit quietly at the back and appreciate the amazing nave, the alter piece or one of the historic paintings to be found in nearly every church in Rome, the Pantheon is wonderful and cool on a hot day, explore the many interesting corners, tag onto a few guided tours as they walk through, prolong your stay for a while, before exiting into the heat of Rome again…
Florence – many of the same ideas to beat the heat, Florence can be very muggy hot in the heat – so my advice is sight see early, don’t go mid day – stay in your countryside villa and enjoy the pool. or enjoy a long siesta in your Florence apartment; the Mercato Nuovo – where you find the Porcellino – is under cover and offers a bit of shade for that must do Florence shopping, some of the better outside cafes have a ‘misting’ system – which gently sprays you with water as you enjoy your cold drink or cappuccino, visit the Uffizi or the Bargello and enjoy the art, the museums are climate controlled ( not necessarily a/c) but temp is bearable, the area outside the Uffizi is usually in shade – so sitting under the portico for a few minutes may help too, buy your tickets in advance so you don’t have to stand in line, in the evening freeze a few small water bottles in your tiny apartment freezer and take cold water with you in the morning ( good for putting on the back of you neck too),find a cool shady spot near the river, watch the rowers practice, and simply take in the ambiance of Florence – the beautiful renaissance town.
Summer recommendation for visiting this area – stay in the countryside – enjoy Florence early in the morning ( returning home by noon) or late afternoon. It’s too hot, especially with children or older people. read our next blog for tips on staying cool in Verona and Venice