This morning we woke up to big fat clumps of snow falling into our garden. I, of course, launched out of bed and was absolutely ecstatic. Rami and Luna less so. This is the second year in a row that I’ve seen snow in Florence, and though it didn’t stick this time (and turned to rain just an hour later) it’s still beautiful and reminds me how much I miss waking up to a snow day. Around the city center, however, Tuscany was getting covered in white.
Photos of Siena started popping up on my feed, with the main Piazza Del Campo a blanket of snow untouched by footprints. All I could think of while looking at that was why in the world had no one grabbed a sled yet (the pitch of that piazza would be perfect for sledding). Students made up for it a bit to use the white canvas for a message instead. They stamped out words directed towards city hall, which is at the base of the hill, reading “GIGI CHIUDILE” which was calling out Luigi De Mossi, the mayor, to close the schools for a snow day – and it worked!
Most towns around us ground to a halt as ice plagued the roadways and the few inches of snow caused chaos. No one owns shovels here – no ice melt, no ice scrapers. I have never seen a plow truck in this country except when skiing in the mountains. It’s not that Tuscans are “afraid” of snow, many just don’t have the means to handle it – and if I ask any of them today if they wanted a coffee with ice and cold cream in it, I think they’d smack me.
So yes, here in Florence, we’re hunkered down in the cold rain that is not snow because we’re in an odd little valley that keeps the snow clouds away most of the time and that makes me unreasonably cranky. But it’s ok because I got snowflakes this morning, and if we felt like taking a bit of a drive, we can hit the ski slopes in the next weeks or so. I’ll tell you though, after seeing the Siena mess up, I’m absolutely buying a sled and keeping it in the house just in case. And I’m not talking a sled like what I saw come out later on that piazza that looked like it belonged pegged to a front-door as a decoration (yes, they eventually got sleds out, thankfully) – I’m talking plastic flying saucers and tubes with cooking spray coating the bottom.