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AP

The Arctic storm, called the ‘Beast from the East’ made it snow in Rome, and the army had to be called in.

No, really.

A rare snowstorm hit Italy’s Rome, paralysing the city and giving its residents an unusual chance to ski, sled and build snowmen in its famous parks and piazzas.

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Rome's train, plane and bus services were crippled – people couldn’t get anywhere.

Italy’s civil protection agency decided to send the army – yes, that army – to clear the snow-clogged streets. The RAI state radio announced that the agency was also rounding up its volunteer crops to help commuters who were stranded at train stations.

The residents don’t appear too perturbed…

The intense winter weather has reportedly come from Siberia.

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Rome was only under a few centimetres of snow, but it was enough to close schools. Parks that usually stay green through winter were blanketed with snow.

But people really aren't complaining, with many going sledding, snow-shoeing or skiing.

Meteorologists in Germany reported a record low for this winter of -27 C (-16.6 F) on the Zugspitze mountain in the Alps. Moscow, as well, recorded its coldest night this winter, with the mercury dipping to nearly -20 C (-4 F) on Sunday night.

In Croatia, about 1,000 soldiers joined in the clearing operations in the worst-affected areas, where over 1.5 meters (some 5 feet) were reported.

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