‘Beast from the east’ storm brings snow to Rome, priests throw snowballs
A record storm that set temperature records across Europe on Monday led to a rare snowstorm in Rome.
The snow gave Romans “an unusual chance to ski, sled and build snowmen in its famous parks and piazzas.”
The snow led to American College and British College seminarians for the Roman Catholic Church engaging in a snowball fight in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City.
More photos revealed priests chucking snowballs as well.
Italian journalists shared photos of the event over the weekend.
Of course, the city’s local transportation suffered because of the snow. Italy’s civil protection agency even had to call on the military to help clear the roads. The city is used to mild winters and rarely receives heavy snowfall.
Temperatures dropped to between 17 and 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Most Rome winters have temperatures around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, according to CNN.
Roman resident Ginevra Sciurpa said she couldn’t get enough of the snow.
“Even though I’m not a child anymore, the enthusiasm for the snow is still the same. It is always beautiful, and above all I didn’t have to go to work,” she said.
The storm came as a result of cold winds from Siberia, a batch of cold weather that has received the nickname “the beast from the east.”
“It is going to bring severe weather that lives up to its name,” U.K. Met Office meteorologist Becky Mitchell told CNN. “We probably haven’t seen it this cold or disruptive since March 2013.”
Other European cities suffered from the cold weather, too. Temperatures in Moscow dropped to below minus-4 Fahrenheit, which is the coldest night for Russia so far, according to The Guardian.
Germany saw temperatures hit a record low of minus-16 degrees Fahrenheit as well.
And Croatia deployed 1,000 soldiers to clear out snow in strongly affected areas where about 5 feet of snow had fallen, according to The Guardian.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.