COOL VIDEO: Rome blanketed by snow as Arctic storm sets European records

ROME (AP/WFLA) - The Arctic storm dubbed the "Beast from the East" saw temperatures across much of Europe fall Monday to their lowest level this winter and even brought a rare snowstorm to Rome, paralyzing the city and giving its residents the chance to ski, sled and build snowmen in its famous parks and piazzas.

This was the heaviest snowfall in six years in Rome, covering its famed monuments in a stunning white blanket. The snow-covered sights from Italy's capital look like scenes from a fairy tale.

Rome's schools were ordered closed, while train, plane and bus services were crippled. Italy's civil protection agency even mobilized the army to help clear slush-covered streets as a city used to mild winters was covered by a thick blanket of snow.

A snowball fight took place at St. Peter's Square between Seminarians from American College and British College.

"Beautiful, beautiful!" marveled Roman resident Ginevra Sciurpa, who donned a fur hat and thick scarf to brave the cold. "Even though I'm not a child anymore, the enthusiasm for the snow is still the same. It is always beautiful, and above all I didn't have to go to work."

The storm brought at least two inches of snow, the biggest reported snowfall since 2012.

Rome's Mediterranean climate usually results in very mild, even warm, winters.


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