Here in Italy, you are risking life and limb if you sweat.  Not just full blown running down your face I’m too hot, sweaty, but the slightest hint of sweating and you risk the possibility of getting the notorious “influenza” and expiring.

I remember one summer’s day. It was beautifully hot. I was with my ex. Italian partner and we decided to do a spot of shopping in a local house and home type store.

We arrived and parked the car and I rushed to go in, I love shopping by the way. My partner pulled me back, very concerned. No you must wait here for a while. It was at that point I noticed about four of five other couples just hanging around. The entrance was up an escalator and they were all staring anxiously at the entrance.

I of course asked how long we had to wait. “Oh” he said, “about 15 minutes” what???

When I asked him why and if there was anything wrong. Maybe there was some strange Italian custom or law that meant that the store could only hold a certain number of people.

He replied that our bodies had to adjust as there was air conditioning inside and if we went straight in from the hot car, we would surely get the dreaded influenza.

Can you believe it? Maybe being English, I’m super human and strong but please, we have to add on 15 minutes every time we want to go in to a shop? No thanks, I’ll take the risk.

The dangers of air conditioning are taken very seriously. You have to sizzle in cars because if you are in any way, just a little bit, maybe sticky and you turn on the “aria fredda” (cold air) then you’ll not only get influenza but ” mal di collo” (achy neck) too. Good heavens, you’re taking a huge chance there!

I often see groups of people seriously discussing their health. They may have been somewhere hot, or have done sport and they exclaim in horror, “ero tutto sudato!”, I was all sweaty to which the replies come, ohh no, you need to be careful, watch it etc.

So those pictures of gorgeous Italian guys, wiping the sweat from their brow, looking oh so sexy? Forget it, that’s far too dangerous.