Summer officially begins tomorrow, June 21 — so it’s fitting that the forecast for much of Italy is sunny and hot! We’re talking 90s in early June, which is precisely one of the reasons I avoid Italy in the summer. Heat AND crowds.
But, if you have to travel this time of year because of work or study schedules, here are a few tips to keep you cool and keep you from losing your cool.
STAY HYDRATED: This may seem obvious, but even if you’re drinking water, it may not be enough in Italy’s scorching summertime heat. You can easily grab a cold water on the go from one of the several bars and cafes that line Italy’s streets and piazzas so you have one on hand at all times. Better to be safe than sorry.
TIME YOUR VISITS: Beat the heat (and crowds) and schedule your visits to outdoor monuments and sites in the late afternoon when the sun is setting and the air temps are cooling. Not only will a late afternoon visit to Rome’s Colosseum be cooler, but the afternoon light makes for better photographs.
ADVANCE TICKETING: Get your museum and transportation tickets in advance and avoid standing in long lines in the sweltering heat. Almost all tickets can be purchased online directly at museum sites and transportation sites.
LESS IS MORE: If you’re plan is to cool off at one of Italy’s gorgeous beaches, consider visiting a lesser-known and less populated spots. For example, skip the busy beaches of Positano and opt for a smaller, secluded beach in the less-touristy town of Praiano.
GET OFF LAND: If you’re near a coast, be sure to rent a boat (and driver) for a day on the water. Not only will it get you away from the crowds, but you’ll experience beautiful Italy from a totally different (and much cooler) perspective. It’s not inexpensive, so be sure to work it into your budget. I can assure you that it will likely be a favorite day/experience.
DISCOVER THE MEANING OF “DOLCE FAR NIENTE”: Practice Italy’s concept of the “sweet doing nothing” and take breaks throughout your daily travels to grab a coffee, spritz or glass of wine and relax. If you’re busy running from one site to another, you’ll miss out on the wonderful laid-back vibe of Italy.