There was a time when summer in Italy began early.
Temperatures would begin to rocket from late April onwards with April itself being punctuated by the Italian equivalent of April showers, except they weren’t showers, they were downpours or full blown storms with some of the most spectacular lightning I have ever seen. In Milan where I live, these deluges often caused floods.
Last year, summer, when it did eventually turn up, was short and not as oppressively hot as it once was. In 2013, our air conditioning saw very little action. The story in 2014 is much the same and caught me out. I recently and rather gleefully announced that summer had begun, only it turns out I was wrong. The pattern continues to be that of very short bouts of sweltering heat followed by cloudy overcast days. Rainstorms are common. In short the climate is unstable. The upside is that the lower summer temperatures mean one can sleep at night.
Will the long, hot Milan summers which had the city’s population fleeing for mountains and seaside at weekends become a thing of the past? Who knows.
The fashionable thing to do is to lay the blame on global warming even if the effects of this much debated phenomenon are not necessarily causing rises in temperature so much as increasingly unstable weather. Well, that seems to be the case in Milan and in other areas of Italy, or so my contacts in Venice and Puglia tell me.
Maybe it’s just a phase? Then again, maybe it isn’t. By the way, Turin is a rather nice Italian city to visit when it’s wet.