by Melinda Gallo

Now it's hot!

We've been very lucky these past few weeks with only a few unbearably hot days, but now it seems that our summer heat has arrived. I'm not one to complain much about the heat because it is just a part of life here in Florence. And actually I sometimes like warm summer evenings, albeit a bit hot at times. But, with the heat comes the self-imposed darkness, which can make anyone feel a bit melancholy.

I have now started my typical summer routine: I open all the doors and windows around midnight when the air has cooled down a bit, and in the morning I shut them by 9AM before the heat creeps in. I don't like leaving all my windows open all night, but it's fairly safe.

During the day I sit in my apartment with the air conditioner on and the windows closed. There is a little indirect sunlight that provides me with some light, but it's not as much as I generally like. I can feel a bit lonely all cooped up in my apartment, but luckily I can put on some music or call a friend to break up the silence.

In my first apartment in Florence, I didn't have an air conditioner. I used to sit in my dark apartment with a fan on full blast. And, if I was really hot, I'd lie down on the marble tile floor to cool myself off.

I try not to go outside between noon and 5PM, but if I have to go out, I try to stay in the shade and pick narrow streets where there is no sun at all. And when the heat gets too unbearable, I pop inside an air conditioned shop, like La Rinascente or Coin where I can walk around, cool off, and not be bothered.

I must say that we have been quite fortunate with a rather mild summer, so it's only natural that now we have our annual heat wave. But, like I said before, the nice part is that I never have to bring a sweater with me; it's warm until well past midnight, and when it does cool down, it's not that cold.

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