Heaviest snowfall in Rome in six years and the largest for the end of February in decades

A rare snowstorm hit Rome on February 26, 2018, causing severe traffic disruption and forcing authorities to shut down schools and tourist attractions.

Snow fell on Italian capital for the first time in six years today in what authorities described the largest snowstorm to hit the city at the end of February in decades.

As winds from Siberia pushed temperatures to extremely low levels across Europe, Italian capital, which is not equipped to deal with snow emergencies due to their rarity, received enough snow to have its traffic disrupted and schools closed. So much, in fact, that it had to ask other areas to send in snow plows to help clear roads.

Civil protection agency sent in army to help clear streets and called on volunteer corps to help stranded commuters while authorities urged people to stay at home as much as possible.

Italy’s most visited tourist hotspot – Colosseum was closed for visitors along with the nearby Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. As a result, roads were unusually quiet and people could be seen in the streets taking pictures of the unusual weather conditions, Reuters reported.

Only one runway was operating at city’s main airport, Fiumicino. Its second airport, Ciampino, was closed overnight and workers were clearing a runway to allow it to reopen on Monday morning.

Ryanair, which uses Ciampino as it Italian hub, decided to cancel all flights to and from the airport, but Italian aviation officials said most of Italy’s other main airports were open despite delays to some flights.

Featured image: Heaviest snowfall in Rome in six years and the largest for the end of February in decades. Credit: WOModa

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