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Episode #086: 10 Things to love about an Italian summer

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This week we are celebrating all things summer in Italy! From the celebrations of Ferragosto, the national holiday on 15th August, to heading to the beach or to heading to the cooler climbs of The Dolomites.

Show notes

In this episode, we are talking about summer in Italy. Many people choose to avoid traveling to Italy’s mid summer peak season – July to August, but we wanted to share with you some reasons why Italy is an amazing place to visit in summer (don’t forget this is when the Italian’s themselves head off on vacation) and some tips for any trips you might plan at this time of year. 

What you’ll learn in this episode

  1. It will be busy and full of Italians but that’s half the fun of heading to the beach during summer in Italy. Just make sure you prebook your spot at the lido or beach club in advance or tap into some local knowledge to find smaller coves and inlets where you may not find a beach club but you’ll likely have fewer crowds to deal with. If you want some inspiration, head over to the Instagram account of podcast favorite Holly, who lives on the island of Capri: @michelangelo_capri – warning these images of stunning Capri and the incredible food will lead to serious daydreaming!! 
  2. Enjoy the quieter streets of the cities while so many of its residents have headed out. Rome, Florence, and Venice are international cities and rely on tourism so the main sights and many restaurants and bars are still open. If you go early in the day to avoid the midday heat, places like the Colosseum are not as busy as they will be in September when the main tourist crowds return. There are also night openings at many places
  3. Take advantage of the longer days you get in summer – from sitting out late in a piazza watching the world go by, to enjoying a gourmet dinner set in a Tuscan vineyard, to the magical fireflies that dance around the countryside. 
  4. Outdoor concerts are popular in the summertime in Italy. With many styles of music including pop and jazz, but, of course, enjoying opera in an Italian outdoor concert is a particularly special experience. There is also an abundance of outdoor festivals in the summer, like Siena’s famous Palio horse race
  5. While much of the country is heading to the coast, it’s also a fantastic time to head up the mountains – like to The Dolomites – to enjoy the alpine pastures and cooler temperatures
  6. Summer means some of the quintessential Italian ingredients are in season – such as tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, basil, peppers and figs. And although we never need an excuse, it’s a wonderful time to partake of a cooling gelato, to cool you as you explore the streets of Florence to sitting on the harbour side on the Italian Riviera 

Places mentioned in the show

  • Calabria – the toe of the boot in Southern Italy with wonderful beaches
  • The Dolomites – great destinations to head to the cooler climate of the mountains during summer
  • Positano and Maiori – on the Amalfi Coast, are renowned for their Ferragosto celebrations and fireworks
  • Rimini – beach destination on the Adriatic coast, in Emilia-Romagna region

Resources

  • Ferragosto – an Italian national holiday celebrated on 15th August
  • Gran Ballo di Ferragosto – in Rome a big street dance party across the city for all of the residents who have stayed in town for Ferragosto

Resources from Untold Italy

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Transcript

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