Summer in Italy is a popular time for travelers to discover all that this magical country has to offer, but it can also be the hottest! Our staffer Marissa recently traveled on our Grand Tour of Italy, which she described as the perfect trip for those looking to experience the different facets of the country. Here, Marissa fills us in on how to beat the heat while traveling through Italy.
I learned quickly that a water bottle is essential during a day of sightseeing. Many cities in Italy have public water fountains where people can come and refill their bottles with clean, drinkable water. Make sure you have a bag or purse that fits your water bottle so you can stash it away and don’t have to worry about holding it.
Pack a lightweight scarf
Italy is known for its beautiful churches and religious sites. A lot of these require visitors to cover their knees and shoulders out of respect. This can sometimes be difficult when you are trying to dress for summer temperatures. I found lightweight scarves to be a lifesaver. I always had a scarf in my purse to throw on over my outfit. It made my outfit appropriate without trapping in the heat. Men can stick to light-colored, quick-dry fabrics and rely on layers for visits to cooler museums or churches.
Look to indoor activities
Although Italy is famous for its beautiful landscapes and city streets, there is a lot to see indoors as well. I found visiting a museum or going shopping to be great ways of taking a break from the sun. Both reflect the country’s history and culture—and best of all, have air conditioning! In Florence, the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery are must-see museums.
Go for a dip
I was actually surprised by how many opportunities I had to go swimming on this trip! Whether it was on the rocky shores of Lake Como, in the crystal water around Capri or at the hotel pools in Sorrento and Assisi, there were plenty of opportunities to take a dip and cool down.
Eat gelato (lots of it!)
You can find many different dishes to taste throughout Italy, but gelato is the most satisfying in the heat. I had gelato once (and sometimes twice) a day! There are so many different flavors; I wanted to try them all. My favorite flavor combination I tried was in San Gimignano: a scoop of tiramisu and a scoop of cinnamon. Delicious!