Snow blankets Italy on coldest week in 27 years
Snow blanketed Italy on Wednesday on what is forecast to be the coldest week in 27 years, forcing the closure of tracts of motorway and snarling traffic in the cities of Bologna and Milan.
Heavy goods lorries were banned from the roads in the central regions of Marche, Tuscany and Umbria until further notice and schools were shut in several areas, while a major hospital in Turin was also closed.
Train services have been reduced and there were delays on the rail network.
The snow led to the cancellation of several top football matches on Tuesday including Juventus-Parma. Organisers were hoping that a face-off between Inter and Palermo at Milan's San Siro stadium on Wednesday could still go ahead.
Italian news agency ANSA reported that bad weather also caused an accident in Syracuse in Sicily in which a one-year-old boy was left gravely injured when his mother drove their car into a stream swollen by heavy rain.
Forecasts are for more snow and colder temperatures in the days ahead, with a low of minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus four degrees Fahrenheit) in the Alps.
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