We’d been warned before that August in Italy was kind of a bust, that everything closes and it’s hot and boring. But nothing quite prepared me for the reality.
August is So Hot. The average daily temperature in Bologna has been about 93. It’s a scorching, hot and humid 93, that forces us inside, window shutters slammed down, lights off and a/c running (and thank goodness for our two bedroom A/Cs, because I literally am not sure we would survive otherwise. Dreading our next electricity bill). Basically cave living. Leo and Marcella are going stir crazy without daycare, trips to the park, long walks or playing on the balcony. I’m running out of recipe ideas that don’t involve turning on the oven or burners, and you can only order pizza so many nights a week.
Even when we do venture outside, there isn’t much going on. August is the month everything closes. Restaurants, bakeries, shops and more all shut down for large chunks of the month. Marcella’s daycare is even closed for the entire month. Aside from the grocery store and the gelato shop, everyone is on vacation.
I don’t blame them. Leaving town is basically the only cure for the summertime red hot blues. So last week we did it too. We rented a car and took the four hour drive south to the province of Abruzzo.
Abruzzo is not one of the flashier, popular parts of Italy, it’s mostly rural, with no major cities or landmarks, but man, it is so pretty there. Rolling hills that lead up to the Apennine mountains on one side, the sparkling Adriatic Sea on the other. Everywhere we passed fields of sunflowers and picturesque bails of hay dotted the countryside.
It was at least ten degrees cooler by the sea and more importantly: we had a pool. For five wonderful nights we grilled meat, drank copious amounts of wine, at buckets of watermelon and just… chilled out.
All good things must end though, so it was back to the city we went (with a brief detour in San Marino, more on that later). It’s still sweltering, still dead outside and we’ve got two more weeks of August to power through.
It sure does make you grateful though: for summer escapes, for gelato, for covered porticoes, for daycare to start again,
and for September to finally get here.