Two people were killed by falling trees in central Italy on Thursday as powerful storms battered several regions after weeks of punishingly high temperatures, Reuters quoted rescue services as saying.
Italy's Civil Protection Unit said that the bad weather would sweep south overnight and issued warnings for Friday for 11 of the country's 20 regions.
Meteorologists said the wind blew more than 140 km/h in some parts of northern Italy, damaging beach resorts in Liguria and Tuscany.
While rain and gales pounded the north, much of southern Italy remained in the grip of a heatwave, with temperatures climbing close to 40C in parts of Sicily.
Firefighters put out a wildfire on the small island of Pantelleria, which had broken out on Wednesday and forced dozens of people to flee their homes overnight.