Italy puts 16 cities on red alert for heatwave this weekend

Rome included in 'bollino rosso' heatwave warning.

Italy's health ministry has issued a maximum 'red alert' warning for three cities on Friday 5 August due to an intense heatwave, the latest to sweep the country this summer.

The cities included in the 'bollino rosso' warning on Friday are Palermo, Perugia and Rome.

On Saturday the number of cities on the Level 3 red alert list will rise to 16 with the addition of Bolzano, Brescia, Campobasso, Florence, Frosinone, Latina, Milan, Rieti, Turin, Trieste, Venezia, Verona 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 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.

Tourists in Rome should be aware that the city's historic fountains are off-limits, no matter how hot it gets, with fines of €450 for those caught entering the waters.

For full details see health ministry websiteCover image Turin. Photo credit: Michele Ursi / Shutterstock.com.