How to keep cool in Rome summer visit
You’ve decided to visit Rome during the busy summer season. Maybe you don’t have a choice or maybe you’ve decided the sunny weather will make your trip more enjoyable. At some point it’s come to your attention that Rome can be fairly warm during the summer months. Temperature routinely hitting 35C/95F or even higher during the day. So how to keep cool in Rome?
Watch for signs!
If you see a sign reading “acqua non potabile” DO NOT drink from that fountain. You might see it on ornamental fountains.
The simplest thing is to drink large amounts of cool water. Fortunately Rome’s historic centre is fairly well served by drinking fountains. Notice I said drinking fountains. Many of the historic well-known tourist spots are not drinking fountains. They aren’t swimming pools. They are not change machines. You should be looking for water fountains.
If for some reason you don’t want to use the drinking fountains you can find bottled water all around the city. Supermarkets sell room temperature water for reasonable prices. Expect to pay €0.50 for a two liter bottle. Smaller shops often sell chilled water. This will be more expensive and likely will warm up before you can finish a larger bottle. A note of warning avoid the street sellers selling water (along with many other things) There have been news reports of the sellers storing their goods in sewers. Buying a purse that’s spent the day in a hot wet sewer isn’t a great idea but putting that water bottle to your lips is even worse.
You might not need an excuse for gelato but the heat will give you one. You can visit one of the many shops along your way for not just a gelato but for a cool drink.
Cool spots in Rome
If the heat has started to become too unbearable you can duck into many of the cooler buildings you will find around the historic centre. Many of the churches are open during the day and will be fairly cool. At times potentially even too cool when compared to the outside air. Most of the shops today are air-conditioned. You will likely be surprised how even a minor church in Rome can contain a wealth of art works . Visiting these churches can be quite rewarding.
A final note on how to keep cool in Rome. The various churches all have rules on clothing. St. Peter’s is the one most likely to enforce the rule but the rules are the same for all the churches. The rules are fairly simple. Your shoulders and knees need to be covered. If you’re running around Rome in short shorts and a tank top consider bringing something to wrap around yourself before entering the church. At St. Peter’s Basilica you risk being refused entry.