Snow Day in Rome!

Today – Monday, 6 February 2012 – is actually only the second official Snow Day in history for Roman schoolchildren. The first was way back on Friday, 3 February 2012.

Yes, Roman children had the unusual pleasure of listening to the Mayor of Rome declare a long weekend due to snow. Snow rarely falls on the Italian capital and, when it does, it mostly melts after an hour or two. But this past Friday, snow fell on the Eternal City and continued to fall all during the night on Friday.

When Romans opened their shutters on Saturday morning, they saw their city transformed into a Winter Wonderland. Most shops and restaurants were closed. Public transportation was practically non-existent. Trains were unreliable and airplanes remained grounded. Residents and visitors with private cars were told not to circulate, but far too many still attempted to make their way around the snow-dusted city.

Rome only received a few centimeters – nothing like many communities in regions of Abruzzo, the Marche or Emilia Romagna, where snow emergencies have been declared. But the capital was a wonderful place to be this weekend because it was so breathtakingly beautiful blanketed in white.

Thousands of Romans and tourists made their way around the city, admiring the views of the snow-dusted Coliseum, the Roman Forum and the Vatican. Snowmen popped up all along the Roman Forum, donning laurel crowns. Kids and teenagers took part in snowball fights and little children dusted off the sleds they usually take along when visiting the nearby mountains. The crowds looked around them in wonder and snapped photos.

By Saturday afternoon, the amount of snow had already diminished substantially and the predicted snow never arrived on Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

But for one perfect day, Rome looked stunning blanketed with fresh white snow and Roman children had the chance to enjoy those perfect two words welcomed by children everywhere: “Snow Day”.

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