By Marc Justin in Florence—
One thing you won’t see during the summer in Florence is people chugging down hot bowls of soup. With an average high of 88 degrees in July and August, this town really tends to sizzle. But besides the usual beach trips and dipping in and out of public pools (see previous post), what can you do to cool off in the city?
First, what makes it so darn hot here anyway? The main reason is that Florence is surrounded by hills which limits the airflow to the city. Mix this with smog and that big yellow ball in the sky and you’ve got yourself one gigantic pressure cooker.
Believe it or not, even with that juicy river passing through the center, Florence doesn’t offer much in terms of boat tours. There are a few small private tours which float tourists along the Arno using vintage Tuscan “push boats,” but these can be quite expensive and change owners all the time.
My advice would be to pass by the Tourist Office on via Cavour 1r to inquire about which companies are still afloat and which are most affordable.
Head to the Lake
For those extra hot days, why not consider a short trip outside the city? One suggestion is Lago di Bilancino, Tuscany’s largest artificial lake. Just a half hour from Florence, it’s both cheap and easily accessible by buses and trains.
Click here for more info how to get there and what to do with yourself once you’ve arrived.
One thing’s for sure. Taking in the sights during the summer means stocking up on plenty of water. And trust me, the cost of buying those little bottles in the center can quickly add up.
But great news, because the city of Florence has just installed purified bottle-filling stations around the city. And the best part is that they’re absolutely free! (How’s that for cheapness?) You can even choose between sparkling or still! Test it out at Piazza della Signoria behind the Zeus fountain.
And if you’re still desperate for a bowl of soup, I’d really recommend the gazpacho.