Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ha nevicato a Firenze... troppo.

At first, it was magical - a going-away present on our last day in Florence.

Just a little dusting of snow that wouldn't stick.

Those of us from California were delighted to be able to say that we were able to "walk to school while it snowed."

It made visiting the Mercato di Natale in Piazza di Santa Croce just a little more special.

And then it started to come down a little thicker.

By 2:30pm, it was a full blown snowstorm.

The university.

Piazza Savonarola, across the street, looked beautiful.

But the snow literally just kept coming!

It turned the schoolyard into a winter wonderland.

We began to worry about the effects the snow would have...

But not tooooo much. ;]

After about eight hours, the snow finally stopped falling, leaving about five inches in its wake.

To anyone who lives in a snowy area, this probably seems like no big deal. For the city of Florence, however, the sudden snowfall prompted a complete stalemate. The city finds it incredibly hard to deal with such weather. Our flight out to Rome the next morning was cancelled - the airport effectively shutdown. People were stranded over night on the autostrade. Buses and taxis stopped running. It was the biggest snow Florence had seen in over twenty years.

This tree in Piazza della Santissima Annunziata looked absolutely gorgeous.

Walking down Via dei Servi and spotting the snowcapped Duomo was absolutely amazing.

The Duomo Christmas tree looked magical.

Susan and I (read: Susan) made a snowman!

Duomo + snowman = DUOMAN.

Aaand the walk home took about twice the time it usually did. But the sights were twice as pretty. ;]

Our Saturday morning flight was rebooked for Monday morning - and we got lucky. At the very least, we could say we'd seen Florence beautifully flocked in snow.

I had this wintery bouquet put together to thank my dear, dear host family for allowing me to stay with them a few extra nights.

Even after being delayed two days and traveling for nearly thirty hours, I am home and still so thankful for the way things turned out. A lot of people were rebooked for Tuesday morning, only to have their flights cancelled second and third times. Others were or are stranded in various parts of Europe due to reroutes and closed airports. I hope that those people are soon home and reunited with their families! ♥

And as for my time abroad, è finito, e non posso crederci. Home is shockingly similar to how I left it, but I feel indelibly changed. More on that later. :]

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