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Heatwave: The hottest places to avoid in Italy this week

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Heatwave: The hottest places to avoid in Italy this week
For once, Rome is not a good idea this week. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
15:23 CEST+02:00
As Italy braces itself for a scorching hot spell, here's where you really, REALLY don't want to spend it – as well as a few ideas for where to cool off.

Italy's national Meteorological Service is predicting temperatures in the high 30s and even into the 40s towards the end of this week. 

But contrary to what you might expect, the most extreme heat won't be felt in the south of Italy, but the north.

READ ALSO: Italy braced for 'one of the hottest heatwaves in a decade'

Based on the official forecast, here's which places you'll want to avoid if you can in the next few days.

Alessandria

The north-west of Italy is expected to get the worst of it this week, and Alessandria might just face the worst of the worst. The city, always humid, is expected to reach a sweltering 41 C on Friday. If you're passing through on one of the many trains that connect there, consider yourself hereby advised not to get off.

In fact steer clear of that whole south-eastern corner of Piedmont altogether: nearby Tortona, Acqui Terme, Asti and Alba, deep in wine country, will all see temperatures between 39 and 40 C. We dread to think what that will do to this year's vintage.


Vineyards near Alba. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Pavia

In neighbouring Lombardy, university town Pavia will be a sticky 40 C on Thursday.

Palestro and Voghera, likewise situated on rivers in the humid Po Valley, will be equally hot, while the small town of Mede will be even more stifling at 41 C.

Alghero

Good luck if you're in Alghero today, where the maximum temperature is 40 C. Further down the west coast of Sardinia, Oristano is at 39 C, while Bosa will hit 40 C on Wednesday.


Hot and dry in Sardinia. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP

There'll be a brief respite on Thursday before the heat hits the other side of the island, reaching 39 C in Olbia on Friday. But hey, at least you'll be by the sea.

Ferrara

All those thick stone walls might come in handy this week as temperatures hit 40 C in Ferrara on Thursday. If you have to be there, take the opportunity to get out of the sun inside its various palaces; at the Castello Estense, they'll even let you into the dungeons. Now doesn't a nice shady cell sound appealing?

Other hot spots in Emilia-Romagna include Medicina and Castel San Giovanni, which are likely to reach 40 C too.

Florence

Florence is always muggy in summer, and this week it will boil to an uncomfortable high of 39 C on Thursday. The good news is that the city's famous galleries are (partly) air conditioned. The bad news is that the coolers intermittently break down – and that every tourist in town has probably had the same idea.

Taking a break in Florence. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Empoli, Pontedera, San Gimignano and Siena are the other parts of Tuscany to avoid, with temperatures in the top 30s both Thursday and Friday.

Rovigo

Thursday will get pretty sticky in southern Veneto on Thursday with highs of 39 C in both Rovigo and Adria. 

Montselice, Castelmassa and Chioggia south of Venice won't be much better, at 38 C.

Rome

The capital can "look forward" to 38 C on Friday, which when you factor in exhaust fumes and hot asphalt will probably feel even higher.


Seeking shade in Rome. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Luckily the nearby coast will be several degrees cooler – but don't think of heading inland towards Viterbo, which will be just as hot.

Naples

The forecast is 38 C for Naples on Friday, which is enough to put anyone off their pizza (sitting next to a wood-fired oven? No thank you). 

Nearby Pompeii and Ercolano will be 37 and 36 C respectively, so now is not the time to go exploring ancient ruins with a lot of white marble and not a lick of shade.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool during Italy's heatwave


Fighting the glare in Pompeii. Photo: Mario Laporta/AFP

Where can you escape the heat?

Thankfully not all of Italy will be melting this week. You'll be able to find a few oases of (relative) cool, and not just by heading for the Alps. 

Temperatures shouldn't top 35 C anywhere in Sicily, with most places on the coast hovering around 30-33 C. Things are even cooler on the outlying islands, with Lipari a pleasant 27 C, Favignana 25 C and Lampedusa a positively cool 24 C.

Puglia will be equally balmy, with highs of 35 C and most places in the early 30s. It's a similar story in Basilicata and Calabria, where much of the western coast – the front of Italy's 'foot' – will remain in the mid to high 20s throughout the rest of the week.


Sicily will enjoy balmy weather this week. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP

In the north, most places in Friuli-Venezia Giulia will be pretty normal temperatures for June, with Trieste even a little on the chilly side at 25 C on Thursday.  

But the very coolest places, of course, are those at altitude. If you're really heat-averse, try escaping to the Nivolet Pass in the Alps north of Turin, where you can cool off at 21 C, or hiking up Mount Etna, where at 10-13 C you'll even need a sweater.

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