Keeping Your Cool in a Roman Summer

Cool off in the shade of pine trees, feeling the breeze waft across the hills from the Apennines to the Mediterranean.  Duck into centuries old churches for a lesson in passive cooling: the masonry walls are so thick the heat won’t reach the interior until the end of summer! Or descend back in time into one of the many underground archeological sites: the temperature stays a cool 15 degrees C. year round down here.

Roman summers are best early and late in the day: rise early and explore the backstreets of the Campus Martius or Monti before the heat and crowds make many sites unbearable. Chill out in the middle of the day in one of Rome’s many less-visited museums: Palazzo Altemps, the Villa Farnesina, or the house museums dedicated to residents like John Keats, Wolfgang Goethe or Giorgio De Chirico. Then have a long lunch on the shady patio of Flavio al Velavevodetto in Testaccio or La Gensola in Trastevere, followed by a nap. Yes, right in the middle of the afternoon, in the heart of one of the world’s cultural treasure chests, regardless of your tight schedule, go back to your hotel or your flat and go to sleep.  When the sun starts to set you’ll be glad to have recharged your batteries. And ready to enjoy the splendors of Rome into the cool of the evening.

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