Cold snap hits much of Italy with snow and rain

Cars stranded in Castelli Romani

Cold snap hits much of Italy with snow and rain

Rome, January 16 - A cold front from Scandinavia moved across Italy on Wednesday, dumping snow and rain across much of the peninsula. At Rome's Fiumicino airport, flights were delayed 15 to 40 minutes due to poor weather conditions. Intense rain in Rome prompted fire fighters to attend to calls from worried residents fearing water infiltration. Snow blanketed high-altitude provinces around Rome, and stranded cars along a road southeast of Rome that goes through a cluster of towns called the Castelli Romani. Even Mount Vesuvius saw its peak dusted with snow, while hail and rain batter nearby Naples. Meanwhile, strong winds whipped up rough seas and slashed boat traffic in the Gulf of Naples. Further south, in Calabria, temperatures dropped below zero and snow fell across the Sila, Pollino and Aspromonte mountains. Snow fell also in Italy's north, including areas inland of Genoa, a city on Italy's northwestern coast. In the mountainous territory surrounding Genoa, snow piled 30 to 50 cm in a number of upper valleys, causing local authorities to rev snowploughs. Lightning disrupted rail lines near Perugia, between Baiano and Spoleto, where trains were delayed. Rain mixed with snow fell on Perugia, where temperatures hovered around one or two degrees centigrade. Cold rain drenched cities in Italy's Veneto region, including Venice, Padua, Vicenza and Treviso. Italy's drubbing of cold, wet weather is not due to let up until Saturday, according to the meteorologist Francesco Nucera of the weather website A new cold snap on Thursday is expected to hit south-central Italy, and move to southern Italy by Friday. A third wave of polar weather is due to arrive in northern Italy on Saturday from the Atlantic.

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