ROME – Freezing temperatures sweeping over the Italian capital on Tuesday brought public transport to a frosty halt and freed many children from having to go to school, leaving them instead able to admire the spectacle of icicles hanging from the city’s iconic water fountains.
While visitors could delight at the picturesque wintry scenes in the Eternal City, many locals were left with little option but to re-route their normal commute to work in the morning as some 70 percent of the regional train services were suspended due to the adverse weather, while high-speed inter-city train services from the central Termini railway station would also be temporarily put on hold.
“Railway circulation still significantly delayed because of snowfall,” Trenitalia, the state railway service, said in a statement.
“Customers arriving at their destination more than three hours late will be entitled to a full ticket reimbursement,” it added in reference to high-speed train passengers.
Schools remained closed across the capital amid gelid conditions on Rome’s roads.
The city’s airports were functioning despite the adverse weather, however.
The plummeting temperatures brought in by the Arctic weather system, which has been nicknamed “the beast from the east,” froze some of the city’s emblematic water features, such as the fountain of the Naiads on the Piazza della Repubblica, which on Tuesday was crusted over by glinting, crystalline ice.
The Colosseum and the Roman Forum were also dusted with a fresh snowfall.
The frigid temperatures were expected to last until Thursday, Italy’s meteorological service said.