I first began this blog post in 2012 and one of my first posts was about Roman snow, namely, an unusual snowstorm that hit the Italian capital and shut down the schools for two days.
Six years later, white powder has fallen on the Eternal City once again, and these Roman school snow days seem to be becoming quite a trend.
Needless to say, my kids were thrilled to sleep in and enjoy their surprise snow day.
Snow is common outside of Rome. The little towns to Rome’s north and south receive the occasional dusting of snow. The Apennine mountains in northern Lazio and nearby Abruzzo host ski resorts, and receive heavy snowfalls.
My family and had just returned from a week skiing in the latter, returning from the mountains in time for a second bout of snow in Rome early Monday morning.
Digging our cars out and slipping on our way to work is not something Romans generally have to deal with.
I had a great walk to work past all the Roman monuments dusted with snow. Sadly, my usual trek through Colle oppio park was impossible.
The parks are closed during snowstorms. This is mainly because the towering Mediterranean pines are not accustomed to this climate. Under the heavy snow, their branches can break and fall from great heights. I saw some of these downed branches on my walk in, so it’s good tourists and Romans are kept from the most dangerous areas.
The many tourists around Rome were snapping photos of the beautiful scene.
All in all, we received about 3-4 centimeters – enough to cause chaos in a city unaccustomed to snow, but too little to create long-term difficulties. By the time I returned home from my work day, the same snow-covered paths I’d trudged through that morning were snow-free by my return.
Six years after our last snowfall, it was a magical experience to enjoy the Eternal City once again blanketed in fresh, white snow. But I still don’t think we’ll be hosting the Winter Olympics anytime soon …