SNOW IN LUCCA - NEVE a lucca
BLOG: 1st MARCH 2018
Dubbed the ‘Beast from the East’, a wave of unseasonal cold air hit most of central Europe and was technically described as a ‘disordered polar vortex’ that reached across also to Britain and Ireland from Siberia. Although the resulting snowfall was much greater in Britain because of the ‘lake effect’, where high cold air picks up water vapour from lower warmer air, the city of Lucca did get a blanket of snow.
In over five years of living in Lucca city centre, I have not seen snow settled in the streets. Of course, when the normal winter rain falls in Lucca, the high peaks of the Alpi Apuane and the Apennines become covered in snow, especially at the Tuscan ski resort of Abetone. One doesn’t have to go far out of Lucca towards the hills to see the road-signs warning that winter tyres or chains are obligatory at certain times of the year and that snow and bad driving conditions are generally expected.
It was an unusual event for central Lucca which caused the schools, businesses and shops to close and people generally seemed to take the day off to enjoy walking through the powdery snow.
Naturally, children enjoyed a rare treat in Lucca building snowmen, using the slopes of the walls to slide on makeshift toboggans and had the occasional snowball fight.
On phone cameras you could record some amazing views and scenes across rooftops, from the City’s walls and in the piazzas. Professional photographers were able to seize the opportunity to take pictures that will undoubtedly make excellent winter scenes for books, cards and postcards for next year.
Generally, the snow settled to a depth of 10 cms (4 inches) but on the walls there were drifts up to about 30 cms and parts of the drainage ditches outside the walls were frozen solid.
Sadly for some the snow lasted exactly 24 hours and by the next day had completely disappeared and Lucca returned, as did the school children back to normality.