On Coping in Italy in the Summer Heat: How Did I Do It?

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The first thing I’ll say about this is simple: Italy. Is. HOT. In that kind of heat, it’s no joke that they take the entire month of August off to flee to the coast. As a pale Irish person who’s very used to neutral, almost cold temperatures year-round, I was apprehensive about going. When I was in Rome, the average temperature was around 30 degrees, with a low of 24. To put it lightly, adjusting was difficult. My biggest fears were sunburn and sunstroke, and given that I’m super fair, I wasn’t willing to take any chances. I’m lucky to be able to say that I’ve never had sunstroke (which I have a major fear of getting), and I sure as hell wasn’t getting it whilst abroad in another country! So today, I’m chatting about my tips for surviving a hotter-than-hot climate when you’re away.

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Sun Screen

OBVIOUSLY. This one is so blatant, I know. But you’d be surprised at how many people I see get burnt to a crisp every single year, who then still refuse to wear it. Baffling. I had my factor 50 sunscreen with me 24/7, ensuring to top it up every few hours. You can never be too careful in that kind of heat, as far as I’m concerned! Typically enough, I forgot it on my final full day… Which turned out to be the hottest day of all. I was in Tuscany for the day, and it hit 34 degrees. It was probably the hottest day I experienced in my entire life. I was traveling with work to take photos, so I was dashing for shade at every given chance. Luckily, I managed not to get burnt for the entire week, so that’s a victory in my book!

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Lightweight Clothing

Another obvious one, but hear me out. 25+ degrees doesn’t seem like a big deal until you’re in direct sunlight. It means business then. So I packed lightweight t-shirts, tank tops, dresses, shorts, skirts. Anything that felt like air came with me. There wasn’t a pair of jeans in sight for my entire trip. Even the denim jacket that I brought wasn’t necessary until I got off the plane to the rain in Dublin. I brought my Old Skool Vans with me, which is one of my bigger regrets. They’re just not the same now. I feel a thorough need to ditch and re-purchase after their strenuous week in Italy. They had to take a spin in the washing machine when I got home, after being caked in volcanic ash from a hike up Mt. Vesuvius… Oops. What can I say, lesson learned! Tip: buy a pair of cheap trainers that you don’t care about, thank me later.

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A Big Floppy Hat

It really is the little things, right? Long story short: it was day one and I was already suffering. I’d been traipsing around the Colosseum and Roman Forum for hours, and already had enough of being baked alive. So, when I saw a hat stand on the street, I jumped at the chance. It was horrifically overpriced considering it was made entirely of paper (I kid you not), but it saved me on this trip for sure. It protected my scalp, face, neck, and shoulders from getting burned, as well as hiding my terrible hair days too. Of which there were many due to the heat. Bonus! Despite its paper construction, I did develop a soft spot for it. I even brought it home to use on the hotter-than-hot days in Ireland, which seem to have disappeared now. Typical.

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A Few Final Tips for the Heat

WATER. Water is your best friend in any hot climate, as staying hydrated is half the battle. It’s necessary in everyday scenarios too, but even more so when it’s hot. I was lucky that every fountain in Rome had clean drinking water that you can top up for free, but collecting bottled water is always a good shout too. Cold showers became my new favorite thing while I was away, they were pretty much my only saving grace in the heat. Super refreshing, mind you! Another thing that I did that saved me was putting my cleanser and moisturizer in the fridge at my hotel. Applying them in the morning and at night was an absolute dream! These tips are probably all super obvious, but as someone who doesn’t travel or experience major heat all that often, it was a learning curve for me. I might as well pass on my ‘wisdom’, as it were!

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How do you cope when it gets hot out?

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