A couple of weekends back I went to two outdoor music concerts here on Milan, Italy, to see the Prodigy and the Cure, but I carelessly forgot to cover myself in a layer of mosquito repellent. Big mistake, and I paid the price as I was feasted upon by lots of hungry little blood suckers, otherwise known as mosquitos - the bane of Italy’s otherwise lovely summers.
It took around a week for all the irritating itching to die down.
Last weekend, I went cycling around Milan to visit a park I have never seen before and to have a look around the lovely Villa Necchi. Remembering my itchy concert experience, before I set off, I covered myself with a good layer of mosquito repellent which, I’m happy to report, kept the nastly little bloodsuckers at bay.
The moral of this little tale is if you are coming to Italy this summer, bring some mosquito repellent to help you avoid too many itchy bites. If you don’t, the annoying itching may well have an adverse effect on your otherwise positive Italy experience.
A Real Pest
Mosquitos are a real pest here. They come out in the evenings and congregate everywhere tourists do, and love all of Italy’s many tempting outdoor bars and restaurants. Areas like Milan’s lively, inviting Naviglio canal area are infested with the things. You will be the main course on their inevitable evening feeding frenzy menu, unless you take precautions. Be warned.
The blighters are capable of penetrating the light summer clothes you will be most probably be wearing on your tour of Italy, so it is not a bad idea to cover most of your torso with mosquito repellent, or to spray the repellent directly on your clothes, perhaps testing a small out of sight area to ensure the repellent does not damage the material.
Cover your face, neck, hands, legs and even your ears with whatever mosquito repellent you have with you.
Buy Mosquito Repellent Before Coming to Italy
Should you forget to bring some mosquito repellent, you’ll find a varied assortment of creams and sprays in most, if not all, of Italy’s supermarkets and pharmacies. Knowing how painfully expensive Italy’s pharmacies can be, I would advise you to invest in some sort of mosquito repellent before you land in Italy and save yourself a few Euros.
In the event that you leave your precious mosquito repellent in your hotel or apartment, you may like to note that some restaurants in Italy, those which have outdoor dining areas, often keep a supply of mosquito repellent especially for diners (and staff!). You’ll probably notice plastic bottles similar to shampoo bottles somewhere in the eatery of your choice. Just point at one of the bottles, say “posso” and it’ll be brought over. Otherwise, just go get it.
A Mosquito Repellent Which Works
The mosquito repellent I used last weekend, and which does seem to work well, is something called Autan Family Care Junior. It’s a cream, although the makers refer to it as a gel. Autan Family Care Junior is designed for children, but works just as well on adults, and because it is for children, it is kind to your skin.
Mosquito repellent is a must have for anyone coming to Italy in the summer. Only Italy’s high mountain areas remain mosquito free.
Features image Mosquito photograph by Alvesgaspar