The Dinette Teller – 27. How Italians survive the summer heat?

Summer in Italy is hot, there are no two ways about it. Every year you can find scorching temperatures. Rome is a nightmare in July and August and Florence, Milan and other towns can rich temperatures as high as 45° degrees.
Therefore, if you’re planning to visit Italy anytime between the end of June and mid-September you’ll need to be cautious!

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully. (Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen)
Summer, Italy

Summer, Italy

The question is…

How can Italians survive these temperatures?

Most people who live and work in the city get out as fast as they can when summer comes, and head for the coast.

But, how can you cool down your body when the temperature is so high?

The answer is:


Watermelon and cantaloupe are a refrigerant food that can cool you down a few degrees when consumed. The cooling effect comes from its component citrulline, which is converted to arginine in the body.

The watermelon and cantaloupe are two of the most beloved fruits during the Summer, thanks to their freshness and richness in water and mineral salts. Both are part of the Cucurbitaceae Family, such as cucumbers, zucchini and squash.


Watermelon and Cantaloupe

Watermelon and Cantaloupe


Watermelon was already known in Egypt, where the folk was convinced that it was created by the God Seth. It was one of the gifts, which were buried with the Faraon after his death.

Watermelons are usually round and very big, reaching frequently 20 or 25Kg of weight. The biggest watermelon was grown in Tennessee and it won the Guinness World Record with 132Kg of weight!!

The watermelon ripens between June and September, for that reason is a symbol of Summer.





Cantaloupe originated in Asia, which is still the major producer of this fruit, followed by Italy, Spain and France. There are different species of Cantaloupe, and some of them are common in Winter, called only as “Melon”.

Cucurbitaceae Family


Watermelon and Cantaloupe are very low in calories, around 30 per 100gr. fHowever, they are full of vitamins and mineral salts. Some of the most important health benefits of Watermelon and Cantaloupe are:



Health benefits

  • Potassium, beneficial on the blood pressure;
  • Phosphorus, which is important for keeping the pH in the right range, for the bones, teeth and the cellular repair processes;
  • Magnesium, important for the muscles health;
  • Vitamin A, it enhances and defences the eyes and the vision;
  • Vitamin B6, important for the development and maintaining of the central and peripheric nervous system, useful against sleep disorders, such as insomnia;
  • Beta-carotene, of help in the production of melanin and therefore in the tanning process;
  • Vitamin C, a fundamental antioxidant, which prevents from the early ageing of the skin and the organs;
  • Lycopene, a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule;
  • Citrulline hinders hypertension.

On the other hand, watermelon is lacking in Sodium, preventing the cellulitis. It also helps the weight loss.


In Italy, Cantaloupe is also used in savoury dishes. The most typical match is with prosciutto and mozzarella, but you can also try it diced in cold chicken or turkey salads, with cold brown rice, and in sweet and sour salads made with fruits, veggies and legumes

Cantaloupe and Prosciutto


The key to purchasing a good quality watermelon and cantaloupe is to find one that is ripe.

One good sign is to simply pick it up and feel its weight. Does it feel fuller and heavier than you would expect it to?

If so, that’s a good thing, because it’s an indication of the ripeness!


How to select a good watermelon and cantaloupe

How to select a good watermelon and cantaloupe

The sound can also determine the quality of these fruits.If is dull and deep you’re holding a ripe one. But if the sound is higher and hollow, your cantaloupe or watermelon is probably not ripe.

If you press gently on the top of a ripe cantaloupe or watermelon you should feel it soft. But If is too soft or squishy, the cantaloupe is probably overripe!

The appearance is also different when the cantaloupe is ripe. The layer should be cream or golden colour. The sign of an unripe cantaloupe is a green or grey net on the skin.

Cantaloupe smell can also be helpful in determining its ripeness. Unripe cantaloupes have a soft or not smell at all. Ripe cantaloupes are likely to have that spectacular cantaloupe aroma!


Now you know, instead of licking an ice cream cone to beat the heat, eat lots of watermelon and cantaloupe !!!

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