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Briton cancels trip to Italy as UK pensioners in baking hotel say ‘we wish we were back home’

ROME – A British holidaymaker with a home in southern Italy has cancelled her planned trip because of the “ridiculous” heat, while a retired UK couple say they are ditching their baking B&B as temperatures soar in Sardinia.

The holiday island was forecast to reach 48 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, making it the hottest Italian region, and a pair of British pensioners touring its pristine wilderness say they feel trapped in “a frying pan”.

Mary and Ian Brown, from London, were hoping to escape the crowded Sardinian beaches by opting instead for a week-long holiday in Barbagia, a hilly mountain area once roamed by bandits.

“We thought it was going to be cooler, with a nice refreshing breeze, but when yesterday we stepped out of the car we had hired at the airport to visit the village of Orgosolo, it was like walking into a frying pan,” Mrs Brown, 68, told i.

Angela Ristow said she had postponeed her planned trip to Italy because of the ‘ridiculous’ heat (Photo: Anglea Ristow)

The couple was frustrated to find all the shops were shut, locals hiding in their homes to hide from the scorching sun, and the surrounding dry countryside apparently ready to catch fire.

They checked into a simple B&B and as soon as they crashed exhausted on the bed, they started making plans to fly back to London as soon as possible.

“But just the thought of booking now another flight, driving back to Sardinia’s main airport, drop off the rented car, and wait for hours in that suffocating terminal paralysed us. Let alone splashing out more money for tickets,” said Mr Brown, also 68.

“We really wish we could close our eyes and be back at home, but we’re here, stuck in the middle of nowhere, literally, and outside it’s danger zone for our health.”

The duo wanted to explore Sardinia’s quaint rural villages where old traditions survive, walk in woods and indulge in honey-coated cakes and roasted piglets, Sardinia’s top delicacy.

Mrs Brown says they now need to rest for a day inside their room, where she says not even the air conditioning seems to work well, and then they might drive over to the coast and find somewhere else to stay near the water.

“I had to ask the owner of the B&B if they had a fan, and for some ice to be put in the freezer. All we found were warm water bottles,” she added.

Other Britons have cancelled or re-scheduled trips.

Angela Ristow, 39, recently bought a cottage in the village of Latronico, in Basilicata, and had planned to visit in July, making appointments with suppliers for her renovation.

She has now decided to postpone to when it will be cooler, possibly September.

“Together with my brother and father we are re-styling the cottage, doing all the physical labour ourselves, and we really don’t want to do it with over 42 degrees,” said Ms Ristow.

“We need to fix the electric panel, redo the bathrooms, the doors and windows, the plumbing. Big work.”

She can hardly believe the media reports: “It just doesn’t make sense, it’s crazy and ridiculous, it can’t get that hot!”

There have been at least ten heat-related deaths in Italy, mostly older people and those who work outdoors.

Professor Hannah Cloke, from the University of Reading, said: “The bubble of hot air that has inflated over southern Europe has turned Italy and surrounding countries into a giant pizza oven.”

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