Freaky summer weather in Italy

Summer showers!

Summer showers!

First came the summer rain that washed out countless family holidays, outdoor concerts and cost the tourism industry millions of Euros of lost business.

Venice summer fashion

Venice summer fashion

Then came the thunderstorms that sank a dozen boats in the Venetian lagoon.

The Fire Service pumps out a boat sunk by the storm

The Fire Service pumps out a boat sunk by the storm

And drenched over 5,000 art books and catalogues at the Galleria dell’Accademia di Belle Arti.

Books drying out in the Accademia

Books drying out in the Accademia

The president of the gallery, Luigino Rossi, described the storm as being like a water bomb that the roof, restored 10 years ago, just couldn’t withstand. It left shelves and books soaked.

Soaked books dry out after the deluge

Soaked books dry out after the deluge

And that’s not to mention the local damage to houses and apartments with rain-soaked electrics and countless leaks.

Its not supposed to rain indoors!

Drip drip drip!

This was followed quickly by a hailstorm and tornado in Florence last week that dumped several inches of hailstones on the Renaissance city. The storm downed or damaged over 500 trees including several in the Boboli Gardens which remained closed for the rest of the week while damage was cleared up.

Trees down in Florence

Trees down in Florence

Several museums also suffered significant leaks and damage. Buildings affected included the Uffizi Galleries, Pitti Palace, Costume Gallery, Palazzo Davanzati and Museo Nazionale di San Marco where 4 paintings were damaged.

Damage to the roof garden at the Uffizi Museum

Damage to the roof garden at the Uffizi Museum

The damage is estimated to run to at least €1.5m.

Damaged paintings were removed for restoration

Damaged paintings removed for restoration

And then tonight, after a beautiful day of sunshine and 25’C temperatures, the freak weather struck again with an almighty thunderstorm over the beautiful lagoon and historic centre of Venice.

From this..... (Photo with permission of David Marsden @DirectorOnABike)

From this……..Photo with permission of David Marsden @DirectorOnABike

Even locals seem to have been taken by surprise by the scale of the storm.

Via this...... Photo credit Jacopo Gorini

Via this……Photo credit Jacopo Gorini

The tempestuous thunderclouds hurled grape-sized hailstones and over 3 hours of rain, lightening and thunder on a totally unsuspecting city.

To this........ Photo with permission of David Marsden @DirectorOnABike

To this……..Photo with permission of David Marsden @DirectorOnABike

Grape-sized hailstones in Venice

And this……grape-sized hailstones in Venice

And this..... a deserted bar and campo

And this…..a deserted bar and campo

Finally the storm relented and for now the city is relatively quiet. Restaurants have cleared up and closed up after the downpour. Soaked tourists have squelched back to their hotels for the evening. And shopkeepers have assessed the damage before the clear up starts in the morning.

Damage to walls leaves the streets strewn with fragments of brick and plaster

Damage to the walls of the old city leaves the streets covered in fragments of brick and plasterwork

And unfortunately its likely that the morning will reveal more damage and the full effect of the storm, although let’s hope there were no injuries. As for casa mia, the shutters are firmly locked and the bowls are in place to catch any further leaks so I’m off to bed! Buona notte a tutti! Sogni d’oro!! Sweet dreams!!

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5 Responses to Freaky summer weather in Italy

  1. Fishink says:

    Keep warm and well me dear, gosh it wasn’t long ago you were talking of heat waves ! What a change.

  2. suggs69 says:

    I can’t figure out those Florence trees that are diagonally across the street. Were they picked up and dumped like that?

    • lizbert1 says:

      I’m not entirely sure what you mean Suggs, the trees are leaning on a wall I think hence they’ve not fallen to the ground. Fortunately there aren’t as many trees in Venice, I just hope the lovely park on Sant’Elena managed to withstand the onslaught last night!

      • suggs69 says:

        it looks like the branches and leaves of the tree are both ends so couldn’t work out which was which.. also looks like the lower left hand side are on a roof – hence my muddleness. Been great weather here by the way

  3. Julian says:

    What mad weather you’ve been having. It seems it was generally a poor summer central Europe, Chamonix was wet too.

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