Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow in Florence, the sequel

Last year, we got some snow in Florence the weekend before Christmas. Well, it seems that sometimes history repeats itself. Friday morning, after I had gotten to work, the first snowflakes started falling, and continued to do so during the entire day. What this meant is that transportation basically completely broke down. Roads were blocked with traffic jams, buses and trains had stopped running, the airport closed down, and everyone was worried about how they would get home. At 5:30pm, I left work on my bike, and while it took me longer than usual to get home, I was probably still significantly faster than anyone out there in a car. It stopped snowing sometime in the late evening, and I would guess that the overall snowfall was something like 20 cm (8 inches).
Saturday, I awoke to a beautiful winter landscape. The sun was shining and the snow was still there. Since I didn't think that buses were running again, I walked through Cascine park to the center of Florence (I had to get a panettone to bring my parents from a bakery there), and then continued on to Piazzale Michelangelo to take in the view from there. Back in the city, I stopped briefly at the Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce for lunch, before making my way to the Duomo. I had been planning to go up to the cupola, but was waiting for a weekend with nice weather, and this was the day. The view from up there was spectacular, all the more so with all the roofs covered in snow. I managed to make my way home by taking a bus that was going in my direction -- apparently a minority the buses are equipped for snow, but there's not enough capacity in those, so they're very crowded.
We'll see how the situation develops -- I'm planning to fly back to Germany for the Christmas holidays.

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