The best way to beat the heat and crowds in Italy is to follow the rhythm of Italians.
1. Each day get up as early as you can, even at 5 or 6 AM. Get right out to walk around, look at monuments and take photographs. Super early in the morning the air is cool and most people are asleep so you can capture those special photographs you want and enjoy the piazze and monuments all to yourself.
2. Make sure that you book all your museum and gallery visits IN ADVANCE for midday. Plan to be inside with air-conditioning when the city is hot and crowded.
3. Have lunch around 12:30 PM or 1 PM. It’s easier to bear the heat, even outdoors, if you’re sitting still with a nice cool drink and some delicious food!
4. After lunch take a siesta, even up to three hours long. This way you’re indoors during the hottest and most crowded part of the day, plus you rest up enough so that you can enjoy the cool evenings. Sound crazy? This is the way Italians live all summer long and it works! A sleep mask and ear plugs make a big difference! (I have used both the recommended sleep mask and earplugs for years and swear by them!)
5. If you want to see more museums, churches or art galleries in the afternoon then 5 PM or 6 PM is a good time to do it. It’s still very hot, but indoors you’ll enjoy some of the amazing sites in the comfort of air-conditioning. Often at that hour many tourists have already left the museums and galleries.
6. By the time you’ve made an afternoon visit to these indoor sites the day will start to cool down. Now it’s time to go to a great people-watcher spot in a gorgeous piazza for a drink.
7. Around 8 PM or 8:30 PM sit down to dinner. There are always many wonderful choices, both indoors and outdoors.
8. From about 10 PM to midnight enjoy strolling around the city....this is when Italians are out and about. Be sure you have a gelato or other refreshing Italian treat, or a nightcap.
9. Plan to hit the sack and catch another five or six hours of sleep before you get up to enjoy the early morning, tourist free and cool temperatures of the city.
Note: Follow this travel lifestyle even in the winter! It’s a sure fire way to beat the crowds!
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