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Monday, February 13, 2012

What A Week! Che Una Settimana!


Snow Ice Snow

Goodness me what a week it has been, actually what a month!  For all of February at least so far we have been in the grip of ‘The Big Freeze’ here in Italy.  You may have noticed that every one of my posts this month have been weather orientated.  Neve – SnowThe Big Freeze, Ghiaccio - Ice in Marta, and  After the Ice More Snow.

I am not going to apologise though as this blog is all about sharing news of our everyday life in Lazio and this weather has certainly been having a huge impact on our lives since February 1st when it first snowed where we live.

Although much of north west Italy had already experienced heavy snowfalls and the forecast was for snow in Lazio it was still a surprise to wake to a white landscape. This first snowfall was not very significant and did not last long here by the lake.  A little more snow fell over the next few days but not causing much in the way of problems for us, they were still to come as the temperatures started to drop even more and then the Tramontana, arrived a cold north wind, which started to blow strongly.  This combined with temperatures below freezing made for very unpleasant conditions.  It was during this first weekend of the month that we realised the weather forecasters were right and that the Big Freeze was set to be around for awhile. 

We decided it would be sensible to get our gas tank topped up so put in an order on February 6th, delivery was promised within twenty four hours, however the company had not managed to get to us before the next snowfall arrived on February 10th which put paid to any hope of them getting through. As I type we are really hoping that the tanker will arrive imminently now the roads have been cleared. As despite rationing gas carefully, our situation is now getting desperate! We can survive without gas but even with two wood burning stoves and an open fireplace this old house is not easy to keep at a comfortable temperature. At least we have plenty of wood to see us through.

On the same day we also discovered that the strong winds the night before had damaged our satellite dish which my husband has been unable to repair himself. Of course the engineer has not been able to get to us either yet, so we have also been without Sky television. We did manage to rig something via the old terrestrial aerials and can now view Italian channels.

With the extreme cold now having continued for so long we are now even more concerned about potential damage to garden plants, our many fruit trees and of course our olive grove,  we shall just have to wait and hope.

The snow was not in a hurry to thaw last week, which reminded us of the old wives tale that if snow hangs around it means there is more to come!  This of course proved to be true when the heavy snowfalls that the weather forecasters predicted fell on the 10th and 11th of February. We woke at 7am on the Friday to two inches of snow and blizzard conditions, it continued to snow for much of the next forty eight hours and we ended up with around 14”.

The terrace table was where we took one of the measurements!

Although this was a very moderate fall compared to other parts of Italy it still managed to cause quite a bit of chaos as people discovered they were snowed in due to the wind having produced some amazing snowdrifts.  We were fortunate that our neighbour cleared the lane with their tractor and we were able to clear by our own gates, although we have friends that had to wait for the local commune to come and dig them out.

Unlike a lot of other areas we have also had electricity the entire time, apart from a couple of flickers, the phone landline was down for twenty four hours, but to my relief the internet connection which does not rely on a phone line has continued to operate.

During one of the lulls in snowfall over the weekend and having snow chains for the car it was decided to make a brief expedition for fresh supplies and that is when the photos that are not of our own garden were taken.

Mosaic of the Snowfall February 10th 2012.

Mosaics of the Snowfall February 11th 2012.

Time for an expedition to Marta with the chains on.

Less snow down in Marta beside the lake but enough to build an impressive snowman!

Problems were caused where the strong winds had created huge snowdrifts!

We had sunshine yesterday and today and a slight thaw. However the temperatures at night are still very very cold so it will take awhile for the snow to disappear, as the thaw, freeze thaw continues. We have dug ourselves out where needed, the path to the woodpile, access to our gates and terraces,including the upstairs terrace.

Clearing the terrace!

We are used to this sort of weather and are coping ok but it is the locals we feel sorry for as they have not seen conditions like this since 1985 and are just not used to such extreme cold.

As I have said before many times Life in Italy is never dull, at least it does not seem to be for us.

All photos can be viewed in a larger format on Flickr.com in my collection entitled The Big Freeze February 2012

Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

Mosaic Monday

This is a series which I participate in from time to time and I have done so with this post. Welcome to News From Italy to anyone who has called by from Mosaic Monday at Little Red House and of course all my supportive readers who call by and leave comments both here and on my other blogs.


  1. What a great post, Linda! I enjoyed every "scroll" of it. Sta calda!

  2. I do hope you get the gas delivered today. I know about heating old houses. When it gets to 20 degrees or below here we are never warm enough and we have eight fire places but cannot use them as the two chimneys are not safe any more. The snow is beautiful and we had flurries in the mountains for our girls weekend. That is all I will see I think. xoxo, olive

  3. Hope you got your gas. We've had the freeze, but nowhere near the same level of snow.

  4. Dear Lindy, I hope the Arctic doors will close soon, and everyone will have a relieve from the cold. Lovely pictures, and what a great story here. Thanks for sharing. Stay warm!

  5. Très jolies photos. Ce froid est très exceptionnel particulièrement en Italie. Nous sommes toujours en hiver mais allons vers le printemps.

  6. I hope your life will back to normal soon! And I hope your garden survives the Winter of '12 :) XOL

  7. Your photos and mosaics are beautiful. I understand all of Europe is in a deep freeze. It is very cold here in Atlantic Canada as well with -13 C. and a windchill of -30 C. today. It is to be milder around the freezing mark on Wednesday. I hope you are safe and warm! Thanks for visiting today. Blessings, Pamela

  8. Linda, I am answering your question here because my email has issues still. I write and post everything in Blogger only. If you use something else usually the thumbnail images do not pop up for the posts. I have no problems at all writing or uploading images with the Blogger format. I used to use Live Writer but my computer would not allow an update or something and I switched back and have been happy. I hope this helps. olive

  9. Wow, you had a lot more snow than we had. Gorgeous photo's. We had a lot of frost so there was a lot of skating as every pond, canal and lake was frozen. It is raining now so we have had our winter, at least for now.

  10. Che settimana, Lindy! Che brutta settimana! I hope it gets better soon , and I know it will. I can take snow for a couple of days, then... it's got to go!

    It all looks very pretty, though, and Sanremo (music festival) is on the doorstep. Sanremo, in Liguria, looked pretty sunny, when I was watching "Buon Pomeriggio" with Mara Venier, until a couple of hours ago, on Italian TV (RAI-we don't like Berlusconi and CANALE 5)

    It had better get warmer as we are coming next month and I can't wait to see my family, our house, the sea and the cats.

    Lindy, what program do you use for your collage? I used to use PICNIK, but they are closing the website and I don't have time for Photoshop. Do you use photoshop?



  11. I sure hope the gas truck made it through today. I still can't get over all this snow. We have yet to have any, although I did see a beautiful snowfall last Wednesday. It just didn't stick. Stay warm.

  12. Let's hope for warm sunny skies very soon. I can't get over how much snow you've gotten hit with. It's been a horrendous winter in Europe. Think spring! Great pictures even if I'm shivering when looking at them. haha

  13. I am hoping for warm sunny skies too Linda. As this melts, the ice is so dangerous. It is interesting to see how you are coping, given you are only just up the road from us!

  14. Wow that is a lot of snow!! I love your photos, great mosaics too. Hope you got your gas, wonder if you are in for more snow. take care Anne

  15. I have only ever seen that much snow on a ski-ing holiday in the Alps and when you are on holiday it is different. I hope that you continue to manage and that the gas tanker gets through to you.

  16. amazing! wonder if all of that frozen beauty
    is going to make for some extraordinary gorgeousness
    on the vines
    this year.
    glad you're warm and safe
    and dry.
    thanks for sharing the wonders,

  17. Thank you for this bulletin. I have only ever seen that landscape when it is hot and dry, it would be hard to imagine without your great photos.

  18. That's pretty amazing! I can imagine that it's a bit of a shock for the locals... Your photos make me freeze, but they're great ;-) Despite the weather, I hope you're well and you'll have a lovely and warm Valentine's day tomorrow ;-) Love from London xo

  19. I love that adorable snowman by the lake, Linda. :-) And good for you getting out there and shoveling! I hope so much that your plants survive and get healthy and strong again. So glad that you're safe and hope your gas arrives very soon. xo

  20. I know how unusual all this snow and cold is for most of Italy. While you are having an unusually cold winter we are having a mild one. I hope it warms up soon for you.

  21. That snow is amazing, thankful it isn't causing you too many problems. Hope it starts to ease soon. x

  22. What a cold place. It looks so tough to live in this place but the scene is beautiful.

  23. Such a winter you have this year! Amazing photos and mosaics. Hope the weather will be better soon. I have friends who spend the winter in the eastern Mediterranean in Cyprus and Turkey. January has been very cold and wet there and so has the beginning of February too.

  24. oh amazing - so much snow - I can't imagine it - but then I do live in a part of Australia where it doesn't snow. So I really enjoy everyone's snow photos - thanks for sharing! And thank you for stopping by my blog to say hi! Good luck with the snow clearing.

  25. I wonder when is the big freeze ending ?!
    My nan always says "Sotto la neve pane...sotto la pioggia fame.." :-)
    Michela xxx

  26. Beautiful photos, love the wonderful atmosphere and nataural of light and color of these creative photos in the snow.

  27. Wow, I can't get over the snow! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos with us. I bet the windchill is frigid blowing over the snow and ice! Keep warm, my friend.

    Ricki Jill

  28. Oh wow that is a lot of snow. Nice pics. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Wow, I really can't get over how much snow Italy got! Your pics are awesome. My hubby and I were looking at them and just shaking our heads in wonder. Here in Canada our snow has practically melted, so unusual for us. The kids miss their winter fun activities such as toboganning, which they only did once this winter. It looks like the tables have been turned.

  30. Beautiful photos!!! WOW!! It seemed to had snowed everywhere but Treviso. You know, before coming to Northern Italy, I asked my husband if it snows a lot in Northern Italy, because where I come from in California it never snows, however, it does snow in Northern California ~ Tahoe... So, I figured I would live in a place that has a lot of snow. Boy, was I wrong. Ha! It snowed maybe one day for no more than two hours here in Treviso. LUCKY YOU :)

    Inspired in Italy

  31. Pretty pictures of the snow in your region. I hope things are getting back to normal for you. My husband is going over in a week or two as we've had some tiling work done on the terrace over the garage and canteen. We're hoping there will be better weather soon here and where you are. Have a good weekend!

  32. Oh wow, that is a LOT of snow! I love those photo mosaics you've made. As you said, life is never dull in your part of the world. You captured beauty even in the big freeze! Keep warm! xx T

  33. Brrrrr I can't believe how much snow you had in Lazio! I knew Italy had a bad winter, but for that much snow, so far south is amazing! I am sure it has all gone by now :) and I hope your plants survived ok.

    I am still on Easter hols, and it is wonderful to have the time now to catch up on blogging friends that I have missed whilst I have been busy with college.

    It is lovely to stop in and see you for a half hour X


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