Romans advised to avoid non-essential travel

ROME - Romans and tourists were advised by authorities Monday to avoid non-essential travel due to a thick snowfall that covered the Eternal City for the first time in several years. Slowed traffic and fallen trees in the roads present problems for potential travellers, particularly for motorists, with one motorist already having been rescued last night. Some trees have also fallen on parked cars due to the weight of the snow on the branches. The Civil Protection Operating Committee has been called in Rome to discuss the situation.

 Railway transportation slowed significantly due to blockages along the lines, including the Lazio line that runs to the capital. People are advised to inquire about the railway traffic situation before travelling. The metro services are running, however, bus services have been disrupted and further delays are expected.

 The snow fell consistently from 2 a.m. last night and started to settle from 3 a.m.

 Virginia Raggi, the mayor of Rome, currently in Mexico for a conference, has been harshly criticised for her absence. Fabrizio Sartori, from Brothers of Italy, commented that she clearly “felt compelled to imitate the former mayor Marino who was incidentally out of town whenever there was a city emergency.”

 The deputy secretary of Lazio PD also criticised her leadership, accusing her of “fleeing the first difficulty.” In a statement, he said “a mayor is seen at the time of emergency” however “Raggi has thought it fine to leave for a conference in Mexico City, more than 10 thousand km away.”