Rome

Italy on alert as snow covers much of country

Nation braced for freezing temperatures

Italy on alert as snow covers much of country

Rome, February 11 - Italy is on high alert after much of the country was covered on Monday by the start of what was expected to be the heaviest snowfall of the winter. As predicted, snow fell on Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Tuscany, Abruzzo and other parts of northern and central Italy overnight, including low-lying areas, reaching Milan at a around 6am local time. Snow flakes also reached the outskirts of Rome. Motorists have been warned to drive with special care and in some areas it is only possible to travel with snow chains on tyres. Air carrier Alitalia and the national train operator have put into action their snow plans, but so far weather-related inconvenience for passengers has been limited. Conditions in the southern region of Calabria, which was hit by heavy snow on Sunday, improved slightly on Monday, although ice created hazards on some roads. Snow and freezing temperatures are forecast to continue in northern and central Italy on Monday.

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