Roman Snow Day

This article originally appeared in Huffington Post in February 2012.

It is a rare treat when snow flurries powder the Eternal City, normally known for picture perfect panoramas of palm trees and glowing hot sunsets. Even rarer still is an actual nevicata, a snow storm or any kind of accumulation. Over the past two weeks, Rome has been received a windfall of white gold that has stopped traffic, closed schools and shut down the government.


With snow days the new Roman holiday, I decided a day off was the perfect Valetine’s day gift for my husband, an archaeologist whose love for fresh powder almost rivals his love for Ancient Rome. In the early morning hours of Snow Day v.2, Darius biked the city Eternal in search of white-covered monuments and a clean patch of snow to sled.

Over the past two weeks, Rome has had more than 20 centimeters of snow (depending on the neighborhood), considered the largest snowfall since 1986. Though many have been quick to criticize Mayor Gianni Alemanno for his hasty decision to close schools and governmental offices before the snow even flurried, there are many others, like Darius, who are enjoying seeing Rome make history yet again.

Who cares about the actual accumulation when the Coliseum looks sugar-coated, and sleds, skis and snowboards are criss-crossing the Circus Maximus?

Photos by Darius Arya