It may not officially be summer yet but the weather is telling a different story this week.
Summer temperatures are forecast in parts of southern and central Italy on Tuesday and will last at least until Thursday, Italian media has reported.
Highs of 34-35 degrees are forecast for areas of southern Italy and even 38 degrees in inland areas of Sicily and Sardinia.
The most scorching temperatures are expected in Foggia, Matera, Benevento, Cosenza, Catania and Nuoro.
Highs of at least 30 degrees are also expected in inland central Italy in Marche, Abruzzo, Lazio and Umbria.
On Tuesday, temperatures in Rome are set to soar up to 29 degrees.
Unusually, highs of 26-27 are forecast at 1,000 metres in the Appennines and 24-25 at 1,500 metres. Coastal areas will be slightly cooler.
“This is certainly an unusual heatwave for this period, which has happened before, but mostly in the second half of May, not in the first half," meteorologist Edoardo Ferrara was quoted as saying by Il Sole 24 Ore.
"We are talking about temperatures which will exceed the average for the period by more than 10-12 degrees.”
But the heatwave will barely touch the north, where temperatures will be more variable and even rain and storms forecast in the Alps.