Thursday, 6 February 2014

MORE WEATHER STORIES from Italy, c. 1500.

  • Rain, 1491. The Duchess of Milan and her sister went on a shopping expedition, on foot and in the rain, with rough cloths on their heads to keep them dry. As it is not the fashion to walk about like this here, some women began to laugh and made rude remarks. The Duchess got angry and showered abuse on them in turn, so that they almost came to blows. They returned home all muddy and bedraggled. (From a letter of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan).
  • Snow, 1493. The snow in Florence was so deep that people could hardly get out of their front doors. Some cleared their roofs for fear they might collapse under the great weight of the snow.  People had never experienced such cold before. If a bowl of water was emptied out the window, the water turned to ice as soon as it hit the ground. When the snow started melting, icicles formed under the eaves, two or three feet long. They could have killed a person if they had fallen on their head. You could not go from home to work without falling once of twice. (From the Memoirs of Bartolomeo Masi).
  • Snow, 1510. A great deal of snow fell on 13 January. In any other city the kids would have made snowmen, but Florence has higher cultural standards. Master sculptors created large snow lions and nude figures. On 23 Jan the snow melted, and all the roads turned to rivers. For 2 days I couldn’t cross the street. (From Luca Landucci’s diary).  

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