I have definitely fallen head over heels for Italy in the summer. Despite the soaring temps (which I don’t necessarily dislike) we have stayed cool in our stone walled apartment.
I posted before about the fountain in the center of town, which has been a great resource for warm afternoons and evenings. There is also a huge water park that I have been taking the kids to almost everyday. It has great kiddie pools and slides and is so clean. Italians are crazy about cleanliness especially where swimming pools are concerned. And with each coast only two hours away, we have been keeping plenty cool and wet. I do miss our Evanston beaches on Lake Michigan but we are surviving 😉
The rest hours are longer as people try to avoid being in the hot sun for too long. I love the feeling of sleepy afternoons when the whole town is participating. It feels relaxing, rejuvenating, and lazy. In America, I feel like we would be looked down upon for taking a break in the hot afternoon, but here it is just their culture.
They are less likely to consider people “lazy” and instead just see people as deserving of a break. And you don’t deserve a break or gelato just for working hard or going to the gym or reaching a goal. You deserve it for just being human, just being alive. That is something I will always hold with me from this experience, that we each have one life and deserve to enjoy it! And Europeans are great at enjoying it!
The beach towns and cities are packed with people swimming, sunning on rocks, enjoying glasses of afternoon wine and picnics, and just sitting and people watching. It is the art of doing nothing. And, as an American, it is hard to learn at first. I am getting the hang if it though.