Then came the thunderstorms that sank a dozen boats in the Venetian lagoon.
And drenched over 5,000 art books and catalogues at the Galleria dell’Accademia di Belle Arti.
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.
And that’s not to mention the local damage to houses and apartments with rain-soaked electrics and countless leaks.
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.
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.
The damage is estimated to run to at least €1.5m.
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.
Even locals seem to have been taken by surprise by the scale of the storm.
The tempestuous thunderclouds hurled grape-sized hailstones and over 3 hours of rain, lightening and thunder on a totally unsuspecting city.
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.
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!!