Snow on International Women’s Day! This was the situation yesterday from Longoio.

I think nature was trying to tell us something. If we were living in mediaeval times such snowfalls would be considered miraculous occurrences. There are many chapels dedicated, for example, to Our Lady of the Snow in our area (as indeed in most other parts of Italy) which celebrate a snowfall on August 15th 352 AD in Rome which formed the plan of a basilica. The spot is, in fact, now covered by one of Rome’s four basilicas (and perhaps the most beautiful one) Santa Maria Maggiore. Since Mary is the mother of God and also a transformation of the female principle from archaic fertility cults it seemed totally appropriate for snow to fall on International Woman’s Day.

Snow is propitious for anyone growing things. As the Italian saying goes:

Ciò che la neve cela l’estate rivela….
(What the snow conceals, the summer reveals)

It’s the ice which I hate (having spent a month in hospital with a multiple fracture in my right leg which needed an operation and a steel rod just when I’d turned a teenager).

Returning to the weather, the snow seems to have mostly vanished from Longoio today although, no doubt, it will linger on at villages higher up like Montefegatesi and Crasciana, to say nothing of the Prato Fiorito!

Indeed, our local facebook pages have been full of beautiful and often dramatic photos and even films from intrepid quad explorers.

There’s an excellent local meteo page for Longoio at

Without knowing too much Italian you’ll be able to work out what’s in store for us over the next few days.

Longoio is situated at an elevation of 456 metres. Again, you can find this information by various means. My favourite one is the link at,10.613159399999972%29 which tells me we’re just below 1,500 feet in elevation, the same height as Barrow Fell in the Lake District.

Certainly the weather is not what it used to be even since I first landed here ten years ago. Then there were still well-defined seasons and the coldest spell of winter would be ‘I Giorni della Merla’ (see my post on that at To think one could still be sunbathing in December and that it could snow after the first week of March would have been unimagined then.

I shall leave the discussion about unecological human activities on the world’s weather to the experts but we must all now feel it upon the pulse that our planet is getting ever more confused, especially in issues of meteorology and migration.

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