Rain and snow chill May in northern Italy

A stretch of Giro d'Italia cancelled due to weather

Rain and snow chill May in northern Italy

Milan, May 24 - Wintry weather continued to batter much of Italy on Friday. The 19th stage of Italy's biggest biking race, the "Giro d'Italia" was cancelled on Friday due to extreme weather. Snow blanketed northern Italian mountains and fell heavy enough to shut down a piece of highway near the ski resort Bormio, on the Swiss border. Heavy rain and run-off have swollen the northern Italian Lake Iseo's water-level to a record high - 20 cm higher than its recorded average since 1933 and just 5 cm away from spilling into surrounding territory. Meanwhile the lower parts of Venice, like St. Mark's Square, are being flooded by a series of "high water" tides, typical of cold seasons in the ancient city of canals. Storms have dumped 24% more rain than average in May for northern Italy, according to the agribusiness association Coldiretti. Northern Italy's peak temperature so far this month was 3.2C degrees lower than the historic average temperature for May, Coldiretti added.

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