People visiting Rome cooled off in the ancient city’s many historic fountains on Friday (July 31), the hottest day of the year so far.
Temperatures have continued to soar across Europe, adding extreme heat to the health warnings of a continent already taking fresh measures to rein in a potential second wave of coronavirus infections.
In Rome, where the temperature hit 38 Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) on Thursday (July 30) and was set to reach 39C (102 degrees Fahrenheit) on Friday, authorities told the elderly and children not to go out in the hottest part of the day.
The city would usually be packed with tourists this time of year, but the coronavirus pandemic has meant the city has continued to stay quiet in the summer months.
Few of the mostly Italian visitors to Rome who braved the heat were wearing masks, but it is not mandatory to wear masks outdoors in Italy.
Numbers of new COVID-19 cases per day in Italy have been relatively low compared to other European countries that have seen a spike. On Thursday, 386 new cases and three deaths were reported.