Snow just starting to fall.

On Thursday, the Mayor of Rome decided to close the schools on Friday; there’s a Siberian weather front that has sent much of Europe into the deep freeze, and snow was forecast for Friday. The mayor also noted that while there would be no instruction in the schools, the buildings themselves would be open in case parents had no other place to leave their kids. Hmmm.

After the snowfall!

At any rate, the kids’ school decided to close as well, and Eli’s soccer tournament for Saturday was cancelled. We figured that this was all just paranoia in a place that never gets snow. And indeed, we woke up Friday to no snow. But a few hours later, the rain turned to sleet, and then to real, puffy, snowflakes. This apparently happens in Rome every few years. What never happens happened next: significant accumulation! The Colosseum and Forum closed, the busses stopped running, the streets became covered in snow and ice, and cars without tire chains were barred from the roads; the city has no snow removal equipment or even salt for the roads.

Snow-covered Via del Babuino

But boy is it pretty. And so quiet. This chaotic city, suddenly devoid of cars and busses – and certainly no mopeds – is silent.

Fortunately, the Metro continued to operate. That meant that Nell could get to a much-anticipated sleepover birthday party on the other side of the city.

Then, two of Eli’s friends arrived from yet another side of the city to our apartment for a sleepover. In the later case, it took the boys’ parents over an hour to get here! But I think it was worth it. Right now, there’s an epic snowball fight going on right above me, on our rooftop terrace. Now that doesn’t happen every day in Rome!