Milan color story #6: Heat wave yellow

I didn’t blog yesterday. Couldn’t. The Southerner in me dictated inactivity. It was just too damn hot. You could have fried one of those goose eggs I wrote about on the sidewalk. Or on your car hood. Or on your own forehead for that matter. It’s a brilliant combination isn’t it: a stagnant economy and a heat that prohibits any accomplishment more ambitious than blinking. But be careful, if you blink, to put on your fine Italian shades, because the sun is blinding.


And there’s a color that goes along with this heat. It’s the yellow of the yolky center of the sun, splattered on earth just in case we should forget it’s heating up out there. Merciless yellow. Aggressive yellow. Emergency yellow. It’s not widely used here, but when it is, you can’t avoid it.


That last picture is from a poster for Letizia Moratti. She was running for mayor of Milan last year. She lost. I was preparing then to write as I’m writing now about the heat, but it was too hot then. Just like it is now. Too hot to blog. Too hot to do anything. So the images sat for a year, waiting. You see, this is a seasonal woe. And it’s the reason the Milanese run for the hills and the sea as fast as their legs or Fiats will carry them. You can’t abide this hot yellow heat. You just can’t.


You close your blinds. You sit in the dark. You lie still and imagine that a cool wave is lapping over your ankles. When the dark night falls, the heat abates just enough. You sleep with the sounds of the city simmering outside the window. This is summer. This is Milan until September.

[If you enjoyed this post, you might also like the post about Milan color story #3: Pink].

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6 Responses to Milan color story #6: Heat wave yellow

  1. Janette says:

    I guess you would like to be in our Santa Cruz summer fog right now!

  2. Mary says:

    My very favorite color and what a beautiful array you’ve chosen, Charlotte, a perfect visual collage of heat! It’s unusually chilly and rainy in Poitiers and has been this way for more than a month. I’m mainly wringing my hands about this year’s grapes, especially in the Loire Valley – will they be able to avoid the mildew? When will they ripen and what will the sugar levels be? When you are ensconced in Accolay this summer, I hope you’ll give us a status report!

  3. Mary, I’ll let you know. I heard it was a horrible year for the cherries. So sad! There’s nothing like those almost-black French cherries…they’re wonderful in Italy this year, and as abundant as I’ve ever seen them. But wine…we can’t do without that! I wonder what we’ll encounter this year…hmmm…

  4. It’s been a beautiful spring here and was actually 52 degrees yesterday morning when I went out. That kind of temperature in Richmond, Virginia in the middle of June is a gift from the gods. Today’s temps have turned warmer and by Thursday, the first day of summer, it will be downright yellow.
    (lovely post)

  5. Debra Kolkka says:

    It is horribly hot here in Bagni di Lucca too. I am going home to glorious Brisbane winter on Saturday

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