Rare snowfall blankets Rome

St Peter's Square after snowfall Monday
 ROME -- Snow blanketed the Eternal City and its suburbs as far as Ostia Monday for the first time in several years with many streets and piazzas in the centre all but deserted as schools were closed and residents stayed at home.
 Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi issued an order Sunday closing schools on Monday. The Five Star Movement politician was criticised by opposition parties in the city council for attending a cinema festival in sunny Mexico Monday instead of remaining at her desk to deal with the unusual weather. 
 Ms Raggi's predecessor Ignazio Marino was heavily criticised when the city was plunged into chaos by an unexpectedly heavy snowfall.