[Slideshow] France and Italy feel the heat as 'canicule' hits

Europeans are in for a scorcher this week with temperatures set to soar as high as 40 degrees Celsius in parts in a rare June heatwave. The term takes on a more vivid image in Romance languages – Canicule, or Canicula, from Latin, which you could translate as "Dog Days". It refers to the Canis Major, a Southern Hemisphere constellation, which is visible only at the height of summer.

Dogs cool down by a public fountain during an unusual 'canicule' in Rome. Canicule, or Canicula, from Latin, could translate as "Dog Days". It refers to the Canis Major, a Southern Hemisphere constellation, which is visible only at the height of summer.

Tourists in Rome drink and fill their bottle from a public fountain.

Tourists feel the heat in Rome.

Tourists cover up to escape the sun as temperatures soar on the French Riviera, in Nice.

A refreshing glass on the banks of the Seine in Paris to escape the baking heat indoors.

A man reclines in a hammock under the shade of pine trees along the banks of Saint-Ferreol, southwestern France.