Florence in the summer is hot. It’s really hot. One Florentine, Dante Alighieri, might even go so far as to call it an Inferno. But wait, isn’t Dante’s deepest circle of hell frozen over!? Before you start betraying, money lending, or whatever sins it takes to reserve a place in that icy circle, let’s try to find some less sinful relief.
Casa di Hannah and Meg in Florence sat four stories closer to the sun, on the top floor of our apartment building. Come July and August, the heat became oppressive. The kind of oppressive where you honestly, truly believe, in that moment, that you will never be cool again. So, we had no choice but to venture out in search of 20, 10, or even just 5 minutes of air conditioning, of cavernous cool spaces, of relief.
While out and about in Florence during the summer days we suggest you arm yourselves with water bottles, hair ties, and something to fan yourself with. Most importantly, note a few stops you can make for momentary relief from the blazing sun. Might we suggest a few of our faves…
We’re talking Coin, Zara, and Rinascente. These sprawling department stores are all located directly in the city center, perfectly located for a sightseeing AC break. Because the stores are all large as well, you don’t have to worry about the piercing glares Italian sales ladies watching as you so blatantly freeload off of the air conditioning. No pressure to purchase here (but we can totally relate if you do).
Obviously. Supermarket chains such as Conad City and Centro dot the city center. In fact, Meg has already put together a map for you to locate them for cheap meals. Today, think of it as a map to your safe houses from the sun. Spend awhile browsing the aisles as you take in some deep cool breaths. While you’re at it, we recommend restocking the water bottles or buying a reusable to keep in tow.
We’ll take just about any excuse to go to a museum, and to cool off is no exception. While the cold air may not be blasting, it is important to keep the art in environmental conditions that will not damage them – aka not 175 degrees with 200% humidity. Take advantage of these paintings’ and statues’ cushy environment and pop in a museum on an especially hot day. While summer crowds at the Uffizi and Accademia will likely end up raising your body temperature and stress levels, low-profile museums such as the Bargello, the Stefano Bardini Museum, or the Museum of Orsanmichele are your climate-controlled environments for the taking.
See, we really are guiding you away from the frozen hell option! Florentine churches are largely old, stone, quiet, dark and cavernous spaces. Need we say more? Of course, the best part is they’re everywhere. Bop in for not only relief from the heat, but also from frenetic Florence behind you.
Stand up to Florence this August. While your neighbors flee to the nearest beach for the entire month of August, show Florence that you’re not going anywhere – with a little heat relief you can keep your perfect track record of loving Florence every month of the year. Unless of course you’re invited to go to your rich friend’s beach house. Always choose the beach house.