Snowmen and skiers in Rome after historic snowfall

Snowmen and skiers in Rome after historic snowfall

People walk along the ancient Colosseum blanketed by the snow in Rome, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018.

Pictures also show a priest throwing snowballs in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Rome woke up covered in a blanket of snow on Monday as Italy shivered in a cold snap.

Locals lapped up the rare opportuniy to ski, sled and build snowmen in the capital's famous parks and piazzas.

But for now, residents and visitors can't help but have fun in the snow. According to Italian daily Fatto Quotidiano, Rome's Department for Civil Protection called a special working committee who requested the help of the army to help remove snow from the streets.

A street sweeper clears snow from a street in Stockholm as a wave of Siberian cold air sweeps across Europe and Scandinavia bringing extra low temperatures to the continent.

Rome's Mediterranean climate usually results in very mild, even warm, winters.

But the freak weather caused the city's mayor, Virginia Raggi, to close public schools on Sunday as a precaution, with many private ones following suit.

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Six years have passed since it last snowed in Rome.

Look through this gallery to see lovely pictures of Italy's famous sights as snow covers the capital city.

Elsewhere in much of northern and central Italy, the storm also closed schools and disrupted transport.

Forecasters say parts of Britain will feel colder than the Arctic Circle because of low temperatures and high winds.

Meteorologists in Germany, meanwhile, reported a record low for this winter of -27 C (-16.6 F) on the Zugspitze mountain in the Alps.

Transport is expected to be badly hit when more severe weather strikes tomorrow and Wednesday.

In Poland, where at least four people have died of exposure since Saturday, temperatures dropped overnight to minus 12 Celsius while parts of Lithuania, which has had three deaths, saw the mercury fall below minus 20.

About 1,000 Croatian soldiers have joined efforts to clear the snow in the worst-affected areas where more than 5ft has been reported.

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