The Italian Almanac

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too much rain

Battered Italy

Fresh alerts were issued as torrential rain conceded no truce on a weather-battered Italy. Rain and snow continued to pelt the whole of the country after a week-long onslaught that claimed six lives in southern Italy over the weekend. Regional authorities in Lazio around Rome issued an alert on flooding and landslides, saying the soil was "saturated" around the Tiber, Aniene and Liri rivers.

The Tiber was under watch in the capital again as levels crept closer to its banks. Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino wrote to Lazio Governor Nicola Zingaretti saying many homes showed "irreversible" damage. "The situation is absolutely critical and requires swift and structural action," Marino said.

Italy's biggest trade union, the CGIL, voiced "solidarity" with the northeastern Fruili Venezia-Giulia region, vowing to "do all we can to help the region return to normal" after massive snowfalls caused black-outs and the closure of schools.

Nobel Prize-winning playwright Dario Fo headed a list of writers, journalists and artists who petitioned the government to "take all necessary steps" to save the medieval walls of the ancient Etruscan town of Volterra near Pisa, part of which collapsed because of water infiltration.

The civil protection department said the bad weather would "lift a little and give Italians some respite , but otherwise citizens should brace for more very unseasonal and quasi-extreme events."