March 21, 2007
Snow, rain, hail and high winds continued to lash Italy Tuesday. Snow fell heavily across the Alps and Dolomites for the second day running but the brunt of the weather front moved down through central parts as far as the heel of the Italian boot, with most cities hit by rain, hail and gales and most coasts battered by angry seas. In Tuscany, wind and rain whipped Florence and Siena and kept all but the boldest tourists from venturing out of their hotels. To the east, even the Umbrian hills got a RARE taste of snow. In Perugia, the Umbrian capital, temperature fell as low as three degrees, from 20 degrees Celsius two days ago. In Rome, tourists scurried for cover from strong winds while gales toppled advertising boards and bent road signs around Naples. Winds of 20 knots and above grounded flights and prevented landings at Rome's Fiumicino airport. Ferries to Ischia and Capri cowered in port while sea links to Elba were also cut off. Rough seas and 50 km/h winds also raged around Sicily, blocking ferries to Lampedusa and other islands.