“Believe it or not, it snows in Rome … every blue moon!” With that introduction, Thanos Zyngas, director of the university’s Bernardi Campus in the Eternal City, emailed proof positive of a blue moon shining over his home of the past nine years. His pictures appear on this page.
But who ever heard of blue moons on back-to-back weekends … in Rome no less?
According to Zyngas, temperatures in Rome around this time of year are typically in the 50s. Not lately, however, with snowstorms the past two weekends.
“The last time it snowed so heavily in Rome was back in 1986, but this year the cold has been unbearable since the beginning of this month,” Zyngas said. “We had a snowstorm the weekend of Feb. 4-5 and last weekend. Our spring group of students that arrived in Rome Feb. 4 was really caught by surprise, especially since it hasn't snowed in Minnesota yet.”
Zyngas pointed out that December and January are the coldest months in Rome, and “February is mild but cold.” He estimates that from four to six inches of snow fell on Rome Feb. 4-5, and another two inches fell last weekend.
The Romans were caught by surprise, Zyngas said. “Chaos erupted,” because Rome is not equipped to handle snow, especially six inches of snow, as it is so rare there. The snow lasted most of the week, and then the other shoe dropped last weekend.
“The first snow was fun because it is a rare event over here,” Zyngas said. “It was like a white blanket covering everything.” Schools, offices and much of the city shut down, but most of the Bernardi Campus classes and programs went on as scheduled during the week.
Minnesotans by nature are fatalists. And being a former Minnesotan, Zyngas knows that even though it’s been nearly as warm in Minnesota as it has been in Rome, that living in the North Star state – we eventually will get ours.
“Enjoy your warm weather … as long as you can!” he warned.