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Winter weather woes increasing

Siberian tentacles grip the Italian peninsula and Islands

31 January, 16:06
Winter weather woes increasing (ANSA) - Rome, January 31 - Inclement weather and below-zero temperatures are gripping the Italian peninsula, causing school shut-downs, suspension of lorry transport between France and Italy and putting the national passion, soccer, at risk.

Freezing temperatures in the North began moving south on Monday, as Central Italy and the island of Sardinia are beginning to report snow and ice.

Authorities say that snow could fall on the nation's capital by Thursday or Friday, while Tuscan town Florence and the area around Versilia, along with the region of Emilia, are predicted to see snow flurries by Tuesday afternoon.

Transportation authorities are requiring travellers to have snow chains on board or vehicles equipped with snow tires.

Turin is suffering train delays, is preparing road-clearing equipment and has issued an ice alert, along with Livorno that has also opened emergency relief centers and announced that schools will be closed on Wednesday. The Ligurian town of Genoa has also announced that schools will be closed on Wednesday.

At 3,000 meters on Mt Blanc in the northwestern region of Val'd'Aosta temperatures dipped to -21 celcius, while on Mt Rosa -27 and in the ski resort town of Cortina -12.

Many of Italian Serie A and B soccer matches are at risk and Sampdoria-Empoli slated for Tuesday has already been cancelled.

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