Summertime in Italy – Part 2

by Brian Alex | July 8, 2023
It’s hot as all get-out! 

There are lots of funny things we Americans say when … well, when it’s so hot that you could “fry an egg on the sidewalk”.

Italians have their own way of expressing disdain for the heat, although nothing really comes close to this American classic,

Ew-eeh! It’s hotter than H-E double hockey sticks!

Anyway, you get the point. Whether you’re a local or a “straniero” in this beautiful land, you tend to vent a little when the heatwaves roll in.

In our last update, we talked about what you can do to beat the heat. Check out that info here. This time around, let’s flip the coin over …

Where do Italians go and what do they do when it’s hot outside?

It’s July and Italy is currently bracing for its first real set of 2023 heatwaves.

Last year really packed a punch! Temperatures soaring over 40°C or about 104°F.

In fact, I recall a few record-breaking days in particular when it reached 46°C where I live, or about 114°F. I kept thinking, you know, this wouldn’t be so bad with an air conditioning unit in the apartment.

One town, about an hour south of me here in Sicily, recorded 48.8° Celsius, or 119.8°F. It was hotter in Sicily than in Death Valley, California that day!

At any rate, it can get hot, and most Italians do not have an AC unit in the house. Even if they do, they tend not to run it either because of bureaucracy or the energy crisis… hmm, scorching heat vs. soaring costs. But, we digress.

What can you do about the heat, especially if it’s impossible to avoid it.

Here are some tips and tricks from the locals:

Keep the windows and doors shut! As well as being earthquake resistant, the buildings are built for the summers, not the winters. Especially in Italy’s Deep South, it’s best to keep the heat out, as much as you can.

Fans on and wet towels on tile floors! Yup, you’ve probably seen them do this in the movies, and it works! Creating a makeshift AC effect, as well as being a welcomed respite for any furry and four-footed creatures inside.

Head for the hills! The evening temps tend to cool at bit at higher elevations, and so many Italians will plan their mountain vacations in the hotter months. That’s always a hot debate… le montagne o il mare? The mountains or the sea?

Head for the water! We tackled this last time, but it bears repeating. Thankfully, Italy is surrounded by sea, on all sides, and so you’re only about an hour or so from the coast, even in Italy’s deep, northern interior. Why wouldn’t you go to the sea?

Not many tourists have it on their bucket list to go to the mountains or the sea for that matter. But you’ll find even less of a crowd huddled around this last one… 

Don’t forget the lakes! Largely overlooked, lakes and pools are another way to get wet and stay cool on those dog days of August. Speaking of which… 

It’s worth pointing out that August is a HUGE vacation month here in Italy. There are a few very good reasons for that, which we’ll address the next time around. 

 

In the meantime, if you’re dreaming of going to Italy, go to Italy With Bella!

And by all means, if you find yourself there in the summertime, then do your best to beat the heat, and the crowds, by doing what the locals do!

La Dolce Vita is waiting for you, click below to start your journey.