Colosseum, Rome, Italy
People walk outside the Colosseum, in Rome YARA NARDI/Reuters

Holidaymakers in Italy have been given a new crucial warning amid soaring temperatures in the country this summer.

Tourists who are set to travel to soak in the last bit of summer sunshine, have received yet another bout of bad news concerning a brutal heatwave, especially in Italy. The country is experiencing its third heatwave in two months.

The authorities have urged people to stay out of the sun from 10 am until 6 pm as temperatures reach over 40°C, reported The Independent. This is the most severe warning, meaning, even the young, fit and healthy are at risk of adverse effects from the intense heat.

Italy put 17 cities on red alert

A red alert has been issued in at least 17 cities, including some of Italy's biggest cities such as Rome and Florence as the mercury is expected to go past 40°C.

On Tuesday, Italy put Bologna, Bolzano, Brescia, Frosinone, Latina, Palermo, Perugia, Rieti, Turin and Verona under red alert, while the cities that followed suit on Wednesday are Genoa, Milan, Naples, Trieste and Venice, according to The Sun.

Two of the most visited places in Italy – Rome and Milan – could see temperatures reach up to 38°C.

While the UK has been struck with heavy rain and stormy conditions for most of the summer, Europe has been hit with record-breaking heatwaves with the temperatures reaching as high as 48°C in southern Italy.

Last month, the summer was so intense that several cities across Europe experienced power cuts due to damage to underground cables caused by the heat. It is believed that between 200,000 and 300,000 people were left without power or running water around the city of Catania in Sicily.

The sweltering temperatures and dry weather have also seen some parts of southern Europe being struck by devastating wildfires. The most destructive ones took place across the islands in Greece and in Spain's Canary Islands. The Spanish island of Tenerife is still suffering from forest fires as the hot, dry and windy conditions are making life difficult for the hundreds of firefighters battling the blazes.

The Tenerife fires have been burning for several days now, which are believed to be the Spanish island's worst forest fires in 40 years.

How long will Italy's third heatwave last?

According to weather experts, the scorching conditions should ease by the end of the week, when temperatures are anticipated to drop. This could happen because of a forecast of thunderstorms with strong wind gusts.

How can tourists stay safe when travelling during a heatwave

The latest advice from the Italian government is to stay indoors during the afternoon when the heat is at its peak, drink enough water, and avoid exercising during the day.

Other ways to stay well during hot temperatures:

  • Wear sunscreen that is SPF30 or higher
  • If a person needs to be out in the sun, they must wear a hat and loose clothing to stay cool
  • Eat four small meals rather than three big ones
  • Eat fresh food and plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Don't drink alcohol as this can increase the chance of dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke

One more crucial thing to remember for tourists is to take appropriate travel insurance before their trip in case they need any kind of emergency medical treatment.

Switzerland and Germany also put on alert

Meanwhile, other European countries such as Germany, Poland, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Austria and Lithuania have also been put on alert for high temperatures in the coming days.

On Sunday, Spain confirmed that they are in a middle of a third heatwave, which is expected to persist until at least Thursday. The temperatures in the country have been consistently soaring above 40°C. Some parts of Spain have seen the mercury go as high as 44°C in recent days.