Rome on red alert for heatwave on 11 August

Temperatures set to reach up to 40 degrees in Rome.

Italy's health ministry has issued a red alert as Rome endures a new heatwave, with forecasters predicting that temperatures in the capital will reach up to 40 degrees Celsius on Sunday 11 August.

A red alert or "bollino rosso" is also in place on 11 August in seven other Italian cities: Brescia, Campobasso, Florence, Frosinone, Latina, Perugia and Rieti.

This maximum alert for heatwaves indicates emergency conditions with possible negative effects on not just the elderly, sick or very young, but also on healthy and active people.

A lesser "code orange" alert is in place on Saturday 10 August, with temperatures expected to reach 37 degrees in the capital.

The health ministry has recommended 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. Dogs should be kept indoors between 08.00 and 20.00.

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.

And don't even think of stopping to sit down and rest on the Spanish Steps, a new offence which carries fines of between €250 and €400.