10 Italian cities on red alert for heatwave

10 cities including Rome on Level 3 alert for heatwave on 31 July.

With Italy set to experience an intense heatwave later this week the Italian health ministry has issued a heat warning for 10 cities, with temperatures expected to reach up to 40°C, reports news agency ANSA.

The bollino rosso or 'red alert' warning, is in place for Friday 31 July and affects Rome, Bologna, Turin, Florence, Campobasso, Pescara, Rieti, Frosinone, Bolzano and Perugia.

In the case of the last two cities, the Level 3 warning is in place also tomorrow, 30 July.

The bollino rosso indicates emergency conditions with possible negative effects on not just the elderly, sick or very young, but also on healthy and active people.

Fountain fines in Rome

Two people received fines of €600 for dipping their feet in a fountain in Rome's central Piazza Venezia on the afternoon of 28 July, reports ANSA.

A 30-year-old homeless man from Belarus and a 25-year-old woman originally from Verona were caught with their feet in the waters of the Fontana del Tirreno at the base of the Altare della Patria.

Those visiting Rome should note that the water from the capital's plentiful drinking fountains or nasoni is both free and fresh, however dipping so much as a toe into one of the city's historic fountains can result in a steep fine.

How to cope with a heatwave

Official guidelines for coping with the heat include: avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day; avoid fizzy drinks, alcohol and coffee; drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day even if you don't feel the need; eat light meals, vegetables and fruit; wear light, comfortable cotton or linen clothes; bathe your face and arms regularly with water; and check your kids' temperature often.

For all updates see the health ministry website.