Tuesday, 3 July 2012

sweaty betty!

I love hot weather. I love Italy because during the summer, the weather is gorgeous and definitely hot. So surely, during this sunny July, I shouldn't be complaining about it being too hot, right? Errrm.....

In case you haven't heard on the news recently, we are currently smack bang in the middle of some seriously hot weather.

The anti-cyclone 'Charon' is the reason for this intense heat. Hot air is making its way from Algeria and Tunisia, and settling quite happily all over Italy. According to sources online and national newspapers, there are 15 cities on 'red alert'. In other words, it's damn hot.

In my town over the past few days, we've seen temperatures of about 34 to 39 degrees C. In Foggia, the nearest big city however, they have experienced over 40.Going outside, especially between the hours of 12 and 5, is like stepping into a sauna. And travelling by car is rather hellish. The streets are dessert ed at this time of day, because people here, even though they are used to high temperatures, are inside trying to avoid the heat. 

The shops are selling fans for the home and women are carrying little hand held ones. Those without air conditioning look positively knackered, because during the night it's near impossible to sleep. Those who are lucky enough to have air conditioning (myself included, and I am eternally grateful) have it on full blast and aren't budging from their cool houses. Needless to say my boyfriend (who is sans air conditioning) is spending rather a lot of time at my flat recently.

So how does one cope with such high temperatures? Particularly a Brit, or someone from a much cooler country (because yes, I am fully aware that there are any countries much hotter than this one...and I definitely couldn't live in them! :D ) could try the following (or at least, this is what works for me!):
  • Drink a ridiculous amount of water. Yes, it means way more bathroom trips but it's worth it!!
  • Cool showers, especially to cool down before you go to bed. I did this when I was in Kenya.
  • If you have air conditioning, of course use it. But not during the night, as you may wake up feeling a bit groggy. 
  • Go to the beach if you can. And plonk yourself in the sea. The sea breeze will help as well.
  • Use a decent amount of suncream, obviously. Heatstroke, or even sunburn, isn't pleasant.
  • Don't go out between 12 and 4 in the afternoon. Do your shopping/chores early in the morning or in the evening. 
  • Eat lots of cool, fresh fruit. I particularly like pineapple, and my boyfriend loves watermelon.
  • And finally, eat ice cream or ice lollies. I can't get enough of Callipos!
This heat is meant to continue for the next week or so. If you're also in Italy, or an expat in a similar situation, I hope you get some slightly more pleasant temperatures soon! 

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