Snow in Rome!

Snow in Rome! A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the Eternal City

As part of a quick four-night jaunt in February 2018, who would have thought that I would get the unlikely chance of seeing this gorgeous city, which was founded in 753 BC, under snow?

Rome, Italy, Europe
Map: Google

A little snow background

For those of you that are not aware, apparently it is ‘rare’ for it to snow in Rome.

Whilst visiting, some locals advise that it has been 6, 8, or 10 years, even decades since it snowed in Rome.

I’m not a hundred percent sure which tale is correct. However, I do know that during visits to Rome over many years, I have never witnessed snow here and so very lucky to have experienced this unusual phenomenon.

Snow transforms Rome markedly, as you just cannot imagine all the gorgeous postcard scenes covered in snow.

Rome, snow, Italy, bikes
Snow stranding

I checked with a good friend who works for the Meteo Calabria and advised that the last snowfall was in February 2012, so I guess this must be correct, right? The 2012 date followed a distant memory of snow in Rome, some 30 years previous. Today, everyone is treated to a rare sight indeed.

So what caused the unusual dusting (or deluge) of snow in Rome overnight?

Well, a weather front with cold winds from Siberia, which swept across Europe and nicknamed the ‘Beast from the East’ – of course!

Also, Italy has experienced one of the coldest February in years. According to the UK Met Office, temperatures plummeted to ‘minus 4 degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit) and minus 8 degrees Celsius (17 degrees Fahrenheit)’.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy, snow
Snow remnants

Regardless of which part of the world I’m visiting, chilly weather seems to follow me everywhere, and now, even in Rome.

Too late for the snow?

Organising a short meeting at the Australian Embassy for 11 am today – the main reason for visiting Rome but also for the Pink Floyd Exhibition – by the time the meeting finished, a lot of the snow already melted into Rome’s ancient drains…trickling slowly over cobbled lanes.

I’m sure that a relentless photographer would have been at famous sites taking shots from dawn’s outset, but I’m not into freezing my butt off unless absolutely necessary – slack I hear you say?

alleyways, Rome, Italy, snow
Passeggiata (stroll) through the alleyways

Nonetheless, this isn’t stopping me from racing around like a mad woman to several of Rome’s main tourist areas to take photos of the fast-diminishing snow, which still drapes ancient sites.

Does snow keep tourists and locals away?

Stupidly thinking that many people would stay at home today because of the extreme weather, I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

Apart from the Metro running, public transport is closed today as are schools, and so, many people could not make it to work.

The interesting thing is that it appears that all of Rome seems to be at the tourist sites today, as everywhere is crammed with locals sight-seeing as well as tourists.

Rome, snow, Italy
Villa Borghese Park

I read and also heard that the mayor of Rome enlisted the army’s assistance to mainly help spread salt across footpaths and roads, and also shovel slush from the city’s streets.

I don’t see the army anywhere and this is after walking over eighteen kilometres all over this alluring city today.

The only place I did see a couple of army personnel shovelling snow was in front of a few Embassies and mainly under their Gazebo where they guard an Embassy. Unlike me, perhaps the army started in the early hours of the morning when I was still wrapped up snugly in warm blankets, in a cosy apartment.

Still, walking amongst a bed of snow in this city is quite a special sight.

The obligatory snowmen – albeit a little unusual with an adaptation of fresh vegetables and palm fronds – locals throwing snowballs at each other, and some streets thick under snow, are not an uncommon sight today.

Everyone enjoys this fleeting moment before its traces vanish away.

Rome, snow, Italy
Carrot replacement for a cigar?

Sights under snow

By the time I arrive at many of the sites, only a light blanket or sporadic patches of snow still grace ancient monuments, piazzas, famous fountains, and shaded cobbled alleyways – still rendering a magical and enchanting painting for any visitor.

To say that Rome under snow is surreal is an understatement.

Rome, snow, Italy
A light fluttering of snow during the day

I only hope that my photos can provide you with some idea of how simply even more beautiful Rome is when wrapped in this canvas of white overlay…

Rome, snow, Italy
Snowy morn

…and, although you may not have experienced snow in Rome, I can show you a slim porthole on what to expect if visiting Rome during the unlikely event of snow.

Rome, snow, Italy
Moses under snow siege…
Piazza di Spagna, Rome, snow, Italy
Column of the Immaculate Conception, Piazza di Spagna

I particularly like the way that snow always tends to transform even the most memorable of sites especially statues – reminds me a little of when pigeons or seagulls sit on the heads of statues.

Rome, snow, Italy
King David in ‘Grenata’ heaven!

By the time we arrive at Piazza del Popolo, sadly only a veil of snow remains on the domes of the “twin” churches – Santa Maria in Montesanto (built from 1662-75) and Santa Maria dei Miracoli (built from 1675-79).

Rome, snow, Italy, Piazza del Popolo
Almost gone…

Standing in the centre of the piazza, the Egyptian obelisk of Ramesses II from Heliopolis, is free of all snow traces.

A short video of Piazza del Popolo. Bear with me as I’m still learning how to take videos – this one is with my small compact camera.

Pink Floyd Exhibition – Their Mortal Remains

Another reason for the quick jaunt in Rome is to see the incredible Pink Floyd Exhibition (€20) at the Macro Museo.

Don’t miss this fabulous event, which is travelling the globe. The exhibition will blow your mind as it takes you on a historical walk through the last 50 years of Pink Floyd’s amazing life.

Spending around three hours at this excellent exhibition today, I noticed that many people of all ages are here, which goes to show that this timeless band is still very popular. And, that Floyd’s music touched and still touches many people, regardless of time – a true sign of musical genius.

Once you exit, you can’t re-enter the exhibition, even if you’re only taking a coffee break outside, so make sure you’ve seen everything before resting your legs for a break.

For good coffee (€1+) and snacks (€2.50+), venture to the museum’s lovely bright and airy cafe graced with high windowed walls, and adorned with modern artwork.

Pink Floyd’s fleeting moment in time official video to give you a taste…

Leaving Rome

Although this city was covered in snow when locals awoke on the morning of the 26th, when leaving on the 27th, sporadic snowy remains still existed along the pavements and on a few streets. In scattered areas, just enough for the unwary walker to slip on, which I nearly did, a couple of times.

Rome Termini train station still shows signs of snow on the train tracks and although lovely to see, it is very cold still. But for now, it’s time to take a train and head back down south to Cosenza.

Rome Termini, snow, Italy
Rome Termini

Doubt if I will ever see Rome under snow again, and extremely appreciative that I saw a little of this stunning white wonderland gracing the city and managed some photos for you.

Let me know if you were in Rome today and experienced this unlikely occurrence. I would love to hear your comments or read your blog.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts on Italy.

Rome, Italy Europe, train
Heading south once more…

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47 responses to “Snow in Rome!”

  1. Monkey's Tale Avatar

    Funny that the locals were out to see thesnow, but I guess it is a big event. The palm frond arms and cigar smoking snowman is awesome 😊 Maggie

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, it was just as unusual for locals as it was for us but sadly, I didn’t get up early enough to see the full brunt of the snow. Still, I was able to take a few cool (no pun intended) photos. 😉

      1. Monkey's Tale Avatar

        They are very cool 😊

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thank you!

  2.  Avatar

    Fantastic! and with Pink Floyd the atmosphere is wonderful. I was in Rome in the spring and I loved walking through its streets and going into its cafes. but, with snow it is impossible to write what I feel when looking at the photographs. my hug, Nilla.😀

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It was truly magical with Pink Floyd and the snow in Rome. What more would you want? 😉
      Hope all is well.

  3. Immanuel Raj Kumar Avatar

    good one…Loved reading the Floyd part of the story.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Immanuel for your feedback.
      I loved the Floyd exhibition and if it arrives in your part of the world, try and see it.

  4. aumlifestyle Avatar

    Must have been a unique experience aha looks cool👌🏼👍🏼

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      A very unique experience and not sure whether I will see snow in Rome again.

  5. Francis.R. Avatar

    This is a Rome I never had seen before, it is quite beautiful and was fortunate that you were there to document it. Magical realm.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Francis. It was the first time I visited Rome when it was under snow and it was indeed magical.

  6. Sartenada Avatar

    Very cool Rome photos.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you – they’re a little different from the ‘typical’ photos but then again, a different scenario in Rome.

  7. wedreamaloud Avatar

    Beautiful post! I love Roma! Your photos are amazing!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Many tanks for your kind words!

  8. da-AL Avatar

    fascinating! what a stroke of luck for you, Nilla. tx for sharing 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Da-al and yes, it was luck and wonderful. I doubt I’ll ever see that again. 🙂

  9. gillmorris Avatar

    I love your photos and video Nilla. I can’t wait to go to Rome in a couple of weeks. It’s been on the cards for years and I am so looking forward to seeing it and spending time with my parents there 🙂 x

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Gill! I’m sure you and your parents will absolutely love Rome.

      I’ve been to Rome many times now but each time I go, I discover something new. And depending on the season, this provides a new perspective for a photographer.

      1. gillmorris Avatar

        I think I am going to be stopping every second to take photos and I know I am only going to scratch the surface in the week I am there x

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        You will indeed and any walk or sight-seeing jaunt will take you twice as long. x

  10. Aixa Avatar

    I saw photos all over Instagram. People were so happy in Rome! I’m glad you got to see it.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Aixa, I’m not on Instagram but I can imagine all the photos pushed out. I did see some video’s, which were very cool.
      It was very special to see a snow-covered Rome.

  11. equinoxio21 Avatar

    A unique experience. The Villa Borghese under snow? 🙂
    “Tombe la neige”…
    Great shots again. Grazie mille.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      I wished I had got up earlier as the fresh snow would have looked incredible.
      Sei molto più avanti di me nello scrivere italiano. Parlo meglio di leggere o scrivere. Prego. 🙂

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar

        No, no. Your Italian is much better than mine. No doubt.
        Not sure about the snow, actually the fragments looked possibly better. More interesting pictures maybe. 🙂

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha I cheated, Google translate sometimes gets it right. I do have a slight advantage when it comes to speaking Italian.
        Thanks, you’re too kind. 🙂

      3. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Prego. Buona sera. 🙂

  12. Patty Avatar

    As beautiful as the photographs are…nope, will not visit Rome during winter-time and the possible chance of snow 😉

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Ha, ha, lucky for you it’s not a common occurrence, so you’re safe to visit any time. 😉 x

  13. mynewsdrive Avatar

    Beautiful! 🙂
    Watermark your images, they are just so amazing.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you!
      I do have a watermark bottom-left corner of each image. Do you think it needs to be bigger?

      1. mynewsdrive Avatar

        Yes, you should increase the icon size.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thanks for the advice and will do for my next posts. 🙂
        It would be great if you could disable the right-click function in WordPress, but don’t believe you can.

  14. Megala Avatar

    Snow in Rome, beautifully captured !

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Megala!

  15. idjourneys Avatar

    Very rare images of Rome! They have to be kept.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Indeed they are but sadly, I accidentally deleted some photos. I was certain they copied from my SD card to my external drive but hadn’t. 🙁

  16. karenincalabria Avatar

    Lucky you – love the scooters!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      I do consider myself very lucky to have seen this 🙂

  17. Suzanne [globalhousesitterX2] Avatar

    Oh you slacko for not wanting to get cold 😃 Thanks for the trip through parts of Rome. Italy it will be sooner than later 😃 Lovely post Nilla ☺

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Ha, ha, I know but there you have it…sometimes warmth is more important to me. 😉
      Thank you Suz. Trying to get another post out of Rome this week but it’s been a very busy few weeks. 🙂

      1. Suzanne [globalhousesitterX2] Avatar

        Hard to get things done with visitors isn’t it!! Presently the homeowners are here for a few days before heading off again. The transition 🙂 Just come back from wandering a deserted Greek village, nearly landed on my backside a few times going up the hill. Not sure the goat would’ve appreciated me landing on it!!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Yes it is, but great to catch up with friends/relatives that make the effort to visit as we’re quite a way south.
        Oh dear, lucky you didn’t break anything! 😉

  18. the eternal traveller Avatar

    Our news coverage showed the snow in many parts of Europe. It looked so pretty.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      So unusual in Rome but so beautiful. 🙂

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