Bad weather continues to sweep Italy with more heavy rains, snowfalls and strong winds predicted for the week ahead.
Last week, Venice was hit by its worst flooding in 50 years, with water rising above 150 cm for three days in a row.
Experts have said that last week’s floods in Venice were the worst since 1972, reports the news agency ANSA. Sources cited by ANSA have said that, since 1972, there have never been “two floods above 150 cm in the same year, let alone the same week.”
Last Tuesday, the high tide even reached 187 cm, damaging stores and businesses.
St.Mark’s Square and the Doge Palace were closed a few times and water bus services suspended.
Damages are estimated to run in the hundreds of millions of euros. A state of emergency for the city has been declared.
As of Monday, schools and museums reopened and vaporetti were in service again, but a state of alert remained in force.
Venice wasn’t the only Italian city hit hard by the bad weather.
The southern Italian city of Matera, in Basilicata, which is the 2019 European Culture Capital, was also hit by heavy rains, storms and flooding last week and asked for a state of emergency to be declared. Damage is estimated at eight million euros.
The Arno river in Florence and Pisa was alarmingly rough and overflowing and residents were on alert to evacuate. On Sunday, the Arno reached a level of 4,80 meters. People were forbidden from walking along the river banks.
A tornado destroyed 1,000 pines in a nature reserve near Orbetello in southern Tuscany on Monday, and, on the southern Tuscan coast, the popular Gorello waterfalls at Saturnia, famous for its thermal baths, were closed for safety reasons after the local river changed its course.
Snow has been falling copiously across the Alps, with valleys in the Dolomites without electricity or isolated. A train derailed because of a landslide in the Val Pusteria, one of the Dolomites’s most popular valleys with tourists. The state highway was closed after the landslide. No injuries were reported.
An avalanche rolled through a village in the Val Martello, province of Bolzano, carrying with it an impressive amount of snow, tree trunks and debris. Luckily, there were no injuries.
The highway A22, which connects Modena with Austria through the Brenner pass, was closed on Sunday from Bressanone to Vipiteno in South Tyrol due to the snow.
Italy remains in a state of alert for the week ahead, with more rainstorms expected and snowfall predicted also at low altitudes.