Snow over Vesuvius and frosty deer in Abruzzo: Italy is a winter wonderland right now

Snow over Vesuvius and frosty deer in Abruzzo: Italy is a winter wonderland right now
Civitella Alfedena in L'Aquila, Abruzzo. Photo: Pietro Santucci/Facebook
Italy may be heading for a late-winter cold snap, but pictures like this remind us why that's not so bad.

As Italy braces for a return to freezing temperatures until at least early March, photographers at least are celebrating the return of colder weather.

After one of the warmest Januaries on record, spectacular shots of the snow and ice covering many parts of Italy are a reminder that the country can be just as beautiful in winter. 

In the Gulf of Naples, best known for its summer landscapes, snow has been falling over Mount Vesuvius. More than 1,000 metres above sea level, the flakes seem to dance rather than fall, as this slow-motion video by local guide service Vesuvio Natura da Esplorare shows.


Meanwhile in Abruzzo, mountain guide Pietro Santucci captured this magical moment when deer explored the snowy woods in the region's national park. 
 
 
Many of the park's furry critters are still out and about despite the winter weather, from red foxes to mountain goats.
 

The region of Emilia Romagna is expecting heavy snowfall throughout the weekend, and the first flakes are already falling in and around Bologna. 
 

 

A post shared by Mtb Savigno (@mtbsavigno) on Feb 22, 2018 at 3:07am PST

Urbino in the Marche is pretty as a picture under a fresh dusting of snow. 

 

A post shared by Sara Giorgi (@sari.giorgi) on Feb 22, 2018 at 7:12am PST

 

A post shared by Andrea Mainardi (@manniandrea) on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:51pm PST

 
Even parts of sunny Sardinia are covered in white.  
 
 

A post shared by Gianni (@cugusig) on Feb 22, 2018 at 3:51am PST

 

A post shared by Bianca? (@biancatansu) on Feb 14, 2018 at 3:14pm PST

 
How's the weather where you are? Send us your favourite winter shots of Italy on Facebook or Twitter.