Things are heating up in Italy as August fast approaches, and big cities can be challenging to enjoy without withering away as a tourist. Here are my favorite 9 ways to beat the heat in Rome.
I know. This one is obvious, but necessary and deserves the number one spot. Gelato is like magic, one sweet scope erases the memory of any sweltering experience.
This is the Roman version of shaved iced and you can find little stands throughout the city during the summer season. Hint: Don’t call this refreshing treat a granita, as those originated in Sicily. My favorite stands are all in Trastevere.
Enjoy the water
I am often asked by concerned travelers if the water in Rome is actually safe to drink. My answer? Not only is it safe, but it is delicious and fun. There are hundreds of fountains and spouts across they city with an endless flow of cool refreshing water. I never by bottled water. Make sure you know how to properly drink for the source, see the photo.
Get up early in Rome
There is a magic window between 6am and 9am in Rome, when the heat hasn’t settled in and the tourists are still sleeping. I set out with nothing more planned than ambling down alleyways and finding a coffee. Early is also the best time to see the Colosseum and climb St Peter’s Duomo.
Partake in Reposa (Siesta)
Rome mid-day in summer is nothing short of grueling. I invite you to take advantage of the traditional rest period in the middle of the day. Cozy up for a lingering lunch or head back to your hotel and snooze under the a/c. This time is vital to rest and recharge, making your attitude ready to take on anything that the city throws at you.
Stay up late
Since you are resting in the middle of the day, you will have plenty of energy for the late Roman nights. In the summer, it’s hard to tell if it is 9pm or midnight. People eat late and mingle late, with areas like Monti and Trastevere going strong into the wee hours. I love Rome at night in the summer.
Cool off at Ice Club
This is just what it sounds like, a club made of ice in the Monti district of Rome. They serving about a million different kinds of vodka in glasses made of ice to enjoy on tables and chairs of ice. Of course, the big draw here is the novelty, but after a long day of humid 90+ degree heat I think it’s a wonderful idea. Learn more here.
Go to church
Clubbing not your thing? Well, go and take yourself to church. Any church really. There are more than 900 churches in Rome and they are an oasis from the heat. Bonus: you are guaranteed a place to sit and each one is different with beautiful art and design. I sometimes think the nondescript locations end up meaning the more to me than the big blockbusters.
Hang out with dead people
If you are tired of the scorching sun, head underground to the various crypts and catacombs through Rome. Basilica San Clemente, Capuchin Crypt (otherwise know as the Bone Church) and S. Callisto Catacombs are all great stops but my favorite is the lesser known and visited San Nicola in Carcere.
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