IN PICTURES: First snow of the winter falls on central Italy

The first flakes have fallen on the mountainous heart of Italy, and it's just gorgeous.

IN PICTURES: First snow of the winter falls on central Italy
Snow in Chianciano Terme, near Siena in Tuscany. Photo: Comune di Chianciano Terme/Facebook

While snow has covered the peaks of the northern Alps for several weeks, central Italy, where the Apennine Mountains form the country's backbone, saw its first snow of the winter on Thursday night.

It was relatively light in Abruzzo…






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… as well as in Umbria, where the region's villages were turned into winter wonderlands fit for a postcard.






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Parts of Le Marche got a dusting too.






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And in Tuscany, where many parts of the region woke up under a cover of white, some schools in Siena province were closed on Friday because of the snow.






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Snow was predicted to continue in the Central Apennines on Friday, while on either side of the mountains, central Italy was expecting heavy rain, and parts of Campania were on alert for storms.

While snow has so far been mostly confined to higher altitudes, earlier this week parts of the Adriatic coast in Puglia got a few flakes too. 






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Is it snowing where you are? Show us your pictures by email or by tagging @thelocalitaly on Instagram!


Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

Temperatures are set to rise dramatically across Italy this weekend as the country prepares for its first real heatwave of the year, meteorologists said on Friday.

Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

People across Italy are preparing to head to the beach this weekend with unseasonably hot weather predicted to last for several days.

The heatwave is caused by an anticyclone named  ‘Hannibal’ sweeping in from Tunisia and Algeria, bringing hot air currents across the Mediterranean and as far north as Denmark and Poland, reports news agency Ansa.

Temperatures are forecast to rise above 32-33°C in parts of the Italian north including Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, and Emilia Romagna, before the heatwave expands towards the centre and south of the country over the course of the weekend.

The weather is already 8°C above the seasonal average for this time of year, according to Antonio Sanò, founder of the Italian weather site, and temperatures could rise by as much as 10°C.

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In a typical year these kinds of highs wouldn’t be seen until July, Sanò said.

The incoming heatwave will be particularly humid as the anticyclone is carrying moisture from the Mediterranean sea, according to IlMeteo.

However, the relative cool of the Mediterranean basin at this time of year will contain the heat and keep the temperatures from rising into the high 30s, as would happen if the same type of weather event occurred in August.

READ ALSO: Nine in 10 Italians ‘want more action on climate crisis’, new study finds

The heatwave will stretch over the weekend and continue into next week, peaking on Tuesday, according to weather reports.

Patchy thunderstorms typical of midsummer weather are anticipated in the Alps and the Po Valley, while the centre-south is set to experience hot and sunny conditions bar some isolated storms in the mountains of Abruzzo on Sunday.