Rare snowfall blankets Rome, closing schools

A view of Rome's snow-capped skyline, with the Monument of the Unknown Soldier seen at right, after a snowfall, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

ROME - Romans have awoken to a rare snowfall, after an Arctic storm passing over much of Europe dumped enough snow to force schools to close and public transport to reduce services.

Rome's Mediterranean climate and proximity to the sea usually result in mild winters, such that restaurants often keep outdoor seating open even through the coldest months of the year. As a result, the Monday morning snowfall, though not huge in quantity, brought excited young Romans out for a rare snowball fight or walk in the slush.

Mayor Virginia Raggi signed an ordinance Sunday evening closing public schools as a precaution, and many private ones followed suit.

Elsewhere in much of northern and central Italy, the storm also closed schools and disrupted transport.


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