It is hotttttt in most of Europe right now, and northern Italy is no exception. I spent the past week in Como, at a fantastic conference, but based on the following I think I need to up my hot weather game…
- I muttered several times over the week “It’s hot in the worm, Bernard”, which, a) no-one here gets the reference and b) it’s not even from the summer episode of Black Books.
- Last weekend, before I left Turin, I spent a hot and humid morning bussing out to Grugliasco to buy some bathers at Decathlon, the sports & outdoors superstore. My reasoning for going so far afield was sound enough: there might be a chance of swimming during a week next to a lake, and I wanted bathers that were sporty rather than string-based. Except the selection of bathers at Decathlon was only marginally less infuriating than at every other store in Torino. And I spent the whole week in Como itself, where the water is un-swimmably murky with duck poo.
- Actually, I spent the whole week in Como itself… except for a quick trip one evening over to Lugano, where there is a small swimming beach in the city park on the lake. I did not take my bathers.
- From my hotel to the conference venue was a 20 minute walk along the lake front. Lovely views, historical villas, just what you want to wake yourself up in the morning before a day of sitting listening to talks. Clearly the one thing I need to add to this was a heavy backpack with my ridiculous work laptop — the specs are amazing but the power adapter alone weighs as much as some laptops. What did I use all this computing power for? Most days, it stayed in my bag.
- Smart things to pack for a week of hot weather: a sun hat, light-weight shirts in pale colours, a decent sized water bottle. Things I packed: none of the above, and a pair of trousers and a cardigan I never wore.
- There are good drinks for drinking out on a piazza on a summer evening, like beer and spritz. Or, you could drink negronis and get up from bed every 3 hours to pee from the alcohol.
- One thing I did right: slept with the aircon on in my hotel room on Thursday night. Not strictly necessary, definitely environmentally terrible… oh my goodness it was amazing. It’s a good thing I don’t have airconditioning at home, because nothing else would stop me from doing it again.
I’m posting a day early because tomorrow I’m off to the south of Italy with a friend from Australia. And if the weather forecast on google is to be believed, I will actually be escaping the heat, at least by a couple of degrees. Thank goodness.