Snow in the eternal city
As I sit outdoors in Melbourne at 1am and the temperature hovers around 20 degrees celsius (after peaking at almost 30 during the day), it’s hard to imagine that it is actually snowing in my other home town of Rome right now!
Yes – snowing! And yes, this is strange!
While this would not make news in any other northern hemisphere European capital, snow in Rome is about as rare as snow in Melbourne!
Other than a light snowfall in 2010, the city has not experienced snow or a cold snap like this in almost 20 years.
And from what I’ve read in the media, heard from my friends back in Rome and gauged on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, while the Romans are taking it in their stride, the city is, at the moment – and to use an Italian term – in tilt.
The Mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno has ordered all schools to close for today and Saturday… It has caused traffic chaos, airport delays, shut down the colosseum and most importantly – shock horror – put a stop to some Serie A matches!
Word also has it that many Romans have been in a state of panic given they are not used to, prepared for or equipped to handle such conditions – much to the amusement of the city’s northern cousins like Milan or Turin who are well adept at dealing regularly with snow – and on a large scale too!
Comments on the social networking circuit have ranged from disbelief to pure elation and excitement. For the most part and despite the disruption, many are just enjoying the rare beauty of seeing the eternal city under a white blanket.
I’m disappointed not to have experienced it but hey, with this crazy global climate I’m sure it’s not the last for now. Well, here’s hoping!
Signing off from a mild Melbourne (but thinking of Rome always!)