The searing 40C plus temperatures that have gripped Italy this month will drop in the next few days and just one Sicilian city - Catania - is set to remain on the health ministry's maximum heat alert, weather reports said on Thursday.
Meanwhile thunder and hailstorms and torrential rains have hit the north of the country, especially Piedmont, Lombardy and Valle d'Aosta while unsettled weather is forecast over the weekend in southern Italy and on the Adriatic, 3bmeteo.com reported.
"Typical summer weather with a lot of sun" is expected across much of Italy in the next few days, with the exception of the Alps, where thundery showers are possible through Tuesday, the website said.
Temperatures will rise again across Italy next week and will reach 35-36C in the centre and south - above the seasonal average - but are not expected to return to 40C and above, according to 3bmeteo.com.
Currently 16 Italian cities including Rome, Bologna, Napoli, Bari and Palermo are on the ministry's "red alert" – or level 3 threat – defined as "emergency conditions with possible adverse health effects for healthy and active people" due to the sweltering heat.
Lazio and a number of other Italian regions have been hit by drought this summer after rain fell on just 26 days between January and June.