Italy issues red alert heatwave warning for 14 cities

Europe in midst of record-breaking heatwave.

The Italian health ministry has issued a maximum 'red alert' warning for nine cities on Wednesday, rising to 14 on Thursday due to an intense heatwave, with temperatures set to tip 40°C.

The cities included in the 'bollino rosso' warning on Wednesday 20 July are Bologna, Bolzano, Brescia, Florence, Genoa, Latina, Perugia, Rieti and Rome.

On Thursday 21 July another five cities will be added to the Level 3 red alert list: Campobasso, Frosinone, Milan, Turin and Viterbo.

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.

The extreme heat comes as northern Italy battles a water crisis caused by the worst drought in 70 years amid a record-breaking heatwave in Europe.

The health ministry recommends avoiding exposure to the sun and outdoor activity in the middle of the day, as well as advising people to drink plenty of water, eat lightly and preserve their medication properly.

Small children and pets should never be left in cars, even for a a short time, and people should check on elderly neighbours living alone. Dogs should be walked early in the morning or at night and given lots of water to drink.

For full details see health ministry website. Photo credit: Vereshchagin Dmitry /