Well, what a difference a year makes! We have been in the throes of the longest and most intense heatwave in 70 years. Don't get me wrong. You never make it through an Italian summer without lots of days in the 90s. It's just a fact of life. But we are into week two with temperatures approaching 100+ all over the peninsula. Just about every major city has had "bollino rosso" alerts for temperatures over 100 and high humidity. Even the diehard old folks who are convinced that a bit of cool air from an air conditioner will kill them are beginning to admit that it's a "little warm".
We here in Cervinara are luckier than most. Even when it's beastly hot during the day, by 7 pm the sun has lost its potency and a nice breeze kicks in. The mountain air rarely gets too humid and, if we are content to just lie around like a bunch of beached sea lions, we manage to get through the day.
We have given up on any excursions that might take us past 11 am. The other day we went to Bricco Casa in search of some light bulbs. The doors were flung wide open and there wasn't a hint of an air conditioner anywhere. We headed over to the Liz Gallery thinking our little shopping center would be cooler. It was at first, but then again Dante's Inferno would have felt like a relief. As we started to wander around we realized again that, as our good friend Brian once said, "Italian air conditioning is like two guys in a corner blowing on a bowl of ice cubes". Yup. That's just about how cool it was at the mall.
So, now we're getting ready to head into the belly of the beast. We'll be leaving in a few days for Puglia, the lowest point on the heel of the boot. We are hoping for cool sea breezes but are expecting some pretty hot weather there too. We know it won't be perfect and we will miss the cooler mountain evenings, but cabin fever is taking its toll. We will at least be with friends with whom we can commiserate and with any luck we'll find a quiet swimming spot where we can chill out.
We know that eventually this heat wave will pass. Until then, let it be known that not even mad dogs and Englishmen are going anywhere in the noon day sun!