Rare snow in Rome

Snow blankets ruins in Rome, 04 Feb 2012 (AP Photo)

Up to 20 cm of snow fell over parts of Rome on Friday and Saturday – a rare sight in the Italian capital which had its last significant accumulation of snow in 1986.

Romans used government-issued shovels to clear sidewalks and kitchen utensils to clear windshields.

Buses and taxis were scarce and officials told tourists to stay away from major sites such as the Colosseum over fears people would slip and fall on the icy ruins.

Snow also fell across the Mediterranean in Algiers (same latitude as Virginia, USA) for the first time in eight years where almost 10 cm of snow fell and temperatures plummeted to -1 C, unusually low for the Algerian capital.

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