OGGI ME SEMBRA CHE

A rare winter storm in Rome brought snowball fights to the Vatican

Rome was covered in snow this morning (Feb. 26), a rarity in the Italian capital, which typically enjoys mild Mediterranean winters.

Reportedly the biggest snowfall in six years, the unusual weather is one aspect of a massive cold front moving over Europe, dubbed by some as “The Beast From the East.” Frigid temperatures have descended from the UK to Moscow and dumped nearly five feet of snow (1.5 meters) in parts of Croatia.

While nowhere near a blizzard, Rome’s several centimeters of snow were enough to cancel flights, paralyze mass transit and close schools around the city. Italy’s civil protection agency was dispatched to aid stranded commuters, the AP reports.

Photos from Rome show some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps coated in snow. Meanwhile in Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Square, clergy were caught throwing a few snowballs.

Snow in the Vatican
Tourists play with the snow in the the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Square. (EPA/Alessandro Di Meo)
Weather: Rome under snow
The Colosseum is covered by snow during a snowfall in Rome. (EPA/Angelo Carconi)
Electoral posters are seen during a heavy snowfall in Rome
Electoral posters are seen during a heavy snowfall in Rome. (Reuters/Max Rossi)
Nuns walk past a bike covered in snow during a heavy snowfall in Rome
Nuns walk past a bike covered in snow during a heavy snowfall in Rome. (Reuters/Max Rossi)
Weather: Rome under snow
The Fori Imperiali is covered by snow during a snowfall in Rome. (EPA/Angelo Carconi)
Spanish Steps are seen during a heavy snowfall in Rome
The Spanish Steps are seen during a heavy snowfall in Rome. (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)
Weather: Rome under snow
People cross a street covered by snow in front of the Colosseum. (EPA/Angelo Carconi)
Snow in Rome
A view of Rome after a snowfall from the Gianicolo hill. (EPA/Ettore Ferrari)
Snow in Rome
The area around Rome’s famous ancient Circus Maximus is transformed into a winter wonderland for children and youths with sleds, skis and snowboards following unusually heavy snowfall in Rome. (EPA/Angelo Carconi)
Trevi fountain is covered in snow during a heavy snowfall in Rome
The Trevi fountain is covered in snow during a heavy snowfall in Rome. (Reuters/Remo Casilli)
People walk during a heavy snowfall early in the morning in Rome, Italy
People walk during a heavy snowfall early in the morning in Rome. (Reuters/Max Rossi)
People walk during a heavy snowfall at the Circus Maximus in Rome
People walk during a heavy snowfall at the Circus Maximus in Rome. (Reuters/Yara Nardi)
The Pantheon is seen during a heavy snowfall in Rome
The Pantheon is seen during a heavy snowfall in Rome. (Reuters/Remo Casilli)
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