Cesena, Italy – “In scenes reminiscent of the Valykino Estate in David Lean’s “Dr. Zhivago,” the cold Siberian air has (descended) upon Italy in a perfect storm scenario bringing with it freezing temperatures and snow: lots of snow,” says this article by Anthony Dion Mitzel.
This story is particularly interesting to me because my publisher is in Cesena, and I plan on visiting them in May. I haven’t heard from them in a couple of weeks, and am guessing that they are shut down because of the waist-high snow.
“I think the fantasy ended about 24 hours into the blizzard when the snow got knee high and trains started getting stuck,” says Mitzel. “The fluffy white stuff is not unheard of here, especially in the higher altitudes, but the sheer quantity, duration and constant accumulation is. Ironically, a couple weeks ago “The Day After Tomorrow” was on the tube. Who knew the day after tomorrow would be today and it would last a week.
On a train to nowhere, literally
I knew things were getting serious when the train my wife was on got stuck midway between Forlì and Cesena in the middle of the Pianura Padana hinterland where the snow was already waist high. She and more than 600 other “pendolari” were there on the tracks for more than 7 hours without heating and intermittent light. A locomotive was sent from Fellini’s hometown of Rimini to tow them on, but the rescue train ended up breaking down too. A third locomotive from Bologna was finally able to tow them back up to Forlì.
My “wifesical” got home at 11pm. Currently she’s nursing a bad cold.
Time to go a normal 10-14 minute route: 9 hours.
This story was not unique. There have been reports of trains getting stranded all over the country. One in particular from Rome to Pescara was stuck for 24 hours at a small station in the Province of L’Aqulia. Toscana, being our western border, has also been hit hard with trains also being delayed and cancelled.
Due to the large masses of snow and the difficulty the communes are having with its removal, the Italian military has also been mobilized to aid many provinces. They arrived on the outskirts of Cesena a little before noon Saturday.
The forecast for the next couple of weeks is cold and colder which means the snow is not going anywhere. Still, it’s fascinating to see the old structures buried putting everything and everyone in place. Reminding us that there are things we cannot change but can only deal with. “Pazienza, pazienza…”.
See entire article, and photos:
Thanks to Anthony Mitzel for this link