Rare snowfall blankets locked-down Milan

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MILAN (Reuters) – Milan woke up to a thick blanket of snow on Monday, thrilling children but disrupting anyone trying to get back to work after the strict Christmas lockdown. 

Masked city workers were out at dawn shoveling about 15 centimetres of snow off the central Piazza Duomo, as the sparse morning traffic struggled on slippery roads. 

Several trees and marquees outside bars collapsed under the weight, a rare sight in a city that typically gets just a dusting of snow in the coldest of years. 

A pole supporting overhead tram lines fell on one woman, leaving her with head injuries, news agency Ansa reported.

The city’s transport chief Marco Granelli said the priority for the authorities was removing fallen trees and clearing the entrances to hospitals, health facilities and coronavirus-testing points.

The lockdown that kept Italians largely in their homes from Dec. 24-27 was eased on Monday, allowing people to move around freely within their towns even while most services remain shut or severely limited.

Heavy snow was widespread over much of northern Italy, causing train cancellations and the closure of mountain roads in the Veneto region.

(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, editing by Gavin Jones and Andrew Heavens)

Photo – People stroll near the Milan Cathedral (back) at the snowy downtown in Milan, Italy, 28 December 2020. A wave of blustery and wintry weather swept Italy on 28 December. EPA-EFE/MOURAD BALTI TOUATI

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