When Summer comes, Italian streets get incredibly hot: in spite of this, people love spending time outdoors, because of the scents and lights of the season. The luckiest among us pack their bags and travel to the sea or the mountains, where temperatures are more bearable than in the cities. Not all of us can do it, though: it could be work, it could be one is strapped for money, but more and more Italians end up spending the Summer in the cities and town they are from.
But there is no reason to despair: even if you have to spend the hottest months of the year far from the coolness of the Alps or the blue freshness of the Mediterranean, you'll still find plenty to do in towns and cities all over the country. Mind, it'll be hot, indeed, but you'll never be too far from a gelateria and you can rest assured the evenings are always pleasantly fresh!
There are thousands of things to do in Milan, all year round, and the Summer is no exception. The city is known for the liveliness of its nightlife and the many events organized to entertain tourists and locals in the hotter months. If you add its architectural beauty and the many sites of artistic interest in the city, you'll get a perfect recipe to enjoy Milan even in the heat.
Apart from live concerts, aperitifs in the streets and discos, the real protagonist of the season is the Castello Sforzesco, which becomes the real center of cultural activities. L'Estate Sforzesca, which takes place this year from June 7th to the 16th of August, brings music to the Castello: from jazz, to ethnic, from classical to traditional, the Castello Sforzesco's night will be animated by some of the best musicians and directors in the world. Entry is always free.
Visits to the Castello Sforzesco go on throughout the Summer, with special tours and art exhibitions planned exclusively for the hot season. You can get more information about this year's program on the castle's official website.
Florence is the pearl of the Renaissance and a visit to this beautiful town is a must if you're in Tuscany this Summer. Its days and evenings have been animated, since April, by the Estate Fiorentina, an umbrella name under which the town collects a series of various events, from concerts to festivals, from special guided visits to the city to once-off exhibitions and art events. The Estate Fiorentina has everything needed to keep locals and tourists entertained during the hot season. Dance and theatre perfomances are also hot on this initiative's calendar, which you can find on the Estate Fiorentina Facebook page.
Rome, the Eternal City, is an amazing place to be also in the Summer, in spite of the heat. First of all, you can always enjoy the a/c in the many museums and palaces open for visits during the hot season. The city has also been organizing with great success an events Summer festival, the Estate Romana, for a few years now: concerts, theatre and dance performances take place a bit everywhere in the city. The good thing about Estate Romana is that it lasts well into the month of September, when the heat diminishes and the weather may be a bit more enjoyable, too!
Just as Navigli in Milan and Lungarnos in Florence, the areas along the Tiber, commonly known as Lungotevere in Rome, are a nice place to take a stroll by and enjoy some fresh air: they are dotted with lovely cafés and stalls to buy nice souvenirs at.
If you're in the city for a few days, you may like to spend some time at one of the waterparks near it: Zoomarine and Acquapiper are among the most famous. The first is one of the most popular entertainment parks in Europe, and offers shows with animals and areas with swimming pools and sunbeds. The second is the biggest water park in Central Italy.
Then, if you have had enough of the capital and want to spend a day on the beach you can always go to some of the nearby towns by the sea.
Summer is La Stagione (The Season), in capital letters, for Neapolitans, the best time of the year, when you can stay out all day, fully enjoy the sun and go to the beach to refresh.
Naples is on the sea, so you'll really feel you're living a true "Italian Summer" while visiting. As for Milan, Florence and Rome, there are plenty of events organized to entertain people during the hot months. Estate a Napoli sees most of its events taking place in four locations: the Maschio Angioino, the Convento di San Domenico Maggiore, the Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli and the Casina Pompeiana in the Villa Comunale. Once again, music, theatre, dance and arts will entertain the public during the months of July and August. If you are in Naples for a few days, don't forget to take day trips to Pompeii, Posillipo and Capri!
Even if the heat can be stiffling, Summer in Italy is a beauty to be enjoyed: by the sea, in the mountains, or in the city, if for some reason you cannot leave: arm yourself with plenty of icy cold water, regularly stop for a gelato and you'll have a great time all the same!