Depending on where you live, summer in Italy is not always a pleasure. Sure, there is a lot of sun, it is warm and there are possibilities to go swimming pretty much everywhere. But summer in Italy can also be tough.

In Veneto it can become particularly muggy without any way of escaping this mugginess. I’m not talking about a heatwave of several days, but a heatwave of several months. From time to time there is a refreshing shower and the temperature drops, but most days it’s hot. It’s thirty degrees C. or more.

It basically means that you plan all your activities in the morning and in the evening, because from 12 till 18 it’s better to stay inside and keep it calm. Often people crawl out of their houses after 21 and go for a walk then. I’ve noticed that in summer Veneto turns into the Night of the Living Dead.

It also means going to sleep later at night and waking up earlier in the morning. If you can, because you either are able to take a longer break during the day, or you have an entire day off, you sleep an hour (or two) in the middle of the day. There is not much else to do anyway. To make sure that your house is cool enough to sleep, it’s important to close shutters as early as 12 o’clock and to keep them closed until the sun is slowly setting.

Activities such as swimming, walking and a little bit of sightseeing if you are on holiday are your safest bets. No running, no sports (unless they’re in the water, or you’re used to these kind of temperatures and you’re a well trained athlete). Take things easy and don’t force yourself to go out and discover a city in the middle of the day. Rest, or, if you must do something, go for a swim.

Then there is the matter of food. During heat, your (at least my) appetite will be quite low. You’re way more easily satisfied. This has also to do with the fact that you move less, but eating in general gets tiring in the heat. So vegetables, fruit, icecream (especially granita) are your best friends. Keep your meals light. And drink lots of water (but I think this always makes sense). It can be good to add something to your water, such as lemon or mint, whatever you can think of. Your body might need it.

And if you’re really struggling, there’s nobody who’s going to stop you from taking a quick cold shower.

From Italy with love,

Merel

p.s. there are parts of Italy where summer is a lot easier and you’ll struggle less. Don’t avoid the south, because you think it’s too hot. It may be hot, but it’s the mugginess that makes the heat unbearable. In the south there is often a dryer heat. And of course, look for mountains and coastal areas.