Firenze - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...

Trip Start Mar 03, 2005
Trip End Mar 04, 2006

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

I thought the snow would disappear on the journey back from Assisi to Firenze. After all the last time it snowed in Firenze was a very brief snowshower last year, then 4 years previous. They were a mere novelty though as it didn't last. There was no actual ground coverage of whiteness. The last major blizzard was in 1985 when the Arno River froze over. Elena's family has a picture of her on the mantlepiece as a 9 year old, standing on the river.

Arriving at Santa Maria Novella train station in Firenze, I was met with some a smattering of ground coverage, and a very light snowshower. Hmmm, maybe I had missed the action here.

Elena arrived after work as we planned to grab a drink and a bite to eat. That is when the snow started up once more. Driving through the streets of Firenze was hilarious. It was bucketing, slow and large snowflakes. It began to cover the roads, trees and cars. Vespas were diappearing under white blankets. Elena told me that Firenze isn't prepared for this kind of thing. The roads were packed and people slowed to a crawl, so they wouldn't slide.

This was really some freak occurence. Once every 20 years. Obviously a special showing of some snowing, just for me.

Elena dropped me off back at the apartment at around 12.30am. I went upstairs. Immediately I thought, hang on, this is a once in a generation experience. So I grabbed the camera and started wandering Firenze by night, and by snowstorm.

It was absolutely sensational. No wind, just gentle flakes, coming down in their millions. I took photos across the Arno to San Spirito, of the Ponte Vecchio, of the fibreglass cows near the Uffizi, of Fontana Nettuno and David (complete with shrinkage), and of the Duomo, complete with Dome Dandruff. I thought Piazza Signoria would have been empty after 1am, but the locals too realised this was a once off experience. They were there in their dozens having running snow ball fights across the Piazza. It was hilarious. You would be trying to take a photo, and then someone would take a pot shot at you from behind.

In the morning, it was pretty clear that it was a decent fall. About 8 or so inches of snow fell overnight in downtown Firenze. The seagulls by the Arno were very confused, standing in cold whiteness instead of on the banks. Statues had snow on their heads instead of pigeon poo. The Duomo still had coverage on its top.


By late in the afternoon, the streets were turning a little slushy, but it was the talking point of the town. After all, it was minus 6 celsius, and that just doesn't happen in Florence, even in Winter.

Minus 6. Oh Dio!
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L Irving on

Great photos, i missed the snow though, thank goodness

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