Friday 12 Feb was a very unusual day here in Itri, that week the weather in Italy had turned distinctly  colder.

Paul had popped out on an errand leaving me home alone at “Tre Cancelle” . The wind seemed to be getting up and battleship grey clouds were amassing on the horizon, as a storm was blowing in from the sea.  Amidst bright flashes of lightening and loud claps of thunder it began to hail and sleet.  This gradually began to change to snow, however at this stage it seemed unlikely that it would settle.  But the swirling flakes grew steadily in size and before long the ground was covered with a white blanket and the olive trees looked as if they had been coated in white sugar icing.

I began to worry that Paul might not manage to get back up the hill from Itri, so  I was relieved to hear our car crunching along the driveway.  Paul said that the weather was already causing havoc on one particular stretch of the Via Appia, with vehicles struggling to climb or descend the steep hills.  Italians are just not prepared for such unusual weather.  It seemed that Paul had arrived home just in time.  On the hills he had found the wheels of the car spinning, finding it hard to find traction.  He had to drive with one pair of wheels off the tarmac to get up the steepest parts of the hill, taking care not to stop  and maintain forward momentum.  Another 15 minutes and the road would have become impassable.

The snow continued falling until sunset

when the fresh winter wonderland was bathed in a warm glowing light.

Four years ago we had experienced a dusting of snow here in Itri, but  nothing of this scale.

The weather the following day was bright and sunny.  Perfect for photographing the wintery landscapes.

We later learned that even Gaeta’s beaches had received a blanket of snow.

The locals recalled that the last similar event had taken place back in 1956.

By some strange co-incidence this had happened

on the very same date of 12 February.

You can see more of Louise’s photos of the snow at “Tre Cancelle” here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nonnalou/sets/72157623465222426/

and other photos here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nonnalou/sets/

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