Rome

Tuscany under a blanket of snow as cold winter weather hits

Snowy, cold weather blamed for low turnout in general election

Tuscany under a blanket of snow as cold winter weather hits

Rome, February 25 - Brutal winter weather closed Italian highways Monday and menaced voters struggling out to cast their ballots in the national general election. Parts of Tuscany were under a blanket of snow, while in Umbria authorities closed part of the ancient Via Flaminia highway between Terni and Spoleto due to heavy snowfall creating hazardous road conditions. Snow fell for more than 13 hours in the province of Florence, including a spread around the city of Siena causing traffic problems for anyone driving in from the north. Cold, wet flurries also plagued the Chianti area, landing in Montepulciano and the Val d'Orcia. The snow belt stretched north to Bologna, cutting off the A1 motorway with Florence as winter weather followed the spine of the Apennines between the two cities. Further north in Piedmont, rain mixed with snow to heighten the misery, although better weather is expected on Tuesday afternoon. And while about 10 centimetres of snow fell around the capital of Rome, and bitterly cold winds blew in to chill the city, no snow was reported inside the historic walls. The bad weather in many parts of the peninsula has been blamed for the low voter turnout of about 75% in the general election held Sunday and Monday.

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