In Italy the crisis began on February 1, 1956; on February 2, the Po Valley was below a -15°C, and snow storms were all over the North. Rome experienced a snowfall that became historic.
On February 4, snow was falling over most of Italy, and new ice-cold currents hit the Adriatic region reaching a peak on Feb. 7, when a powerful cold core struck the southern regions.
On 8 February, a new low pressure between Corsica and Tuscany again caused heavy snowfalls in Rome and throughout central and southern Italy, with blizzards and freezing temperatures, frost and snow. In those days it snowed even on the Sicilian coast. In Palermo, the minimum temperature went down to 0° C (32° F) and the city was blanketed over and again by several centimeters of snow, which also fell on the southern coasts of Sicily and the island of Lampedusa.
On 13 February new ice-cold currents came from the Rhone valley, resulting in rigid temperatures that struck the north of Italy and led to new snowfalls especially on the Marche, Umbria and Tuscany, moving the day after southward, while the regions of the north and centre were enveloped by frost. In the next days frost and snow continued, with new snowfall from February 18 until February 20 on the whole north and centre, and even in Rome.
In many mountain towns of Abruzzo, as well as in alleys of the historical centre of L'Aquila, people moved only through tunnels excavated through the huge snow heaps. With the new snowstorms many places became unreachable: Ovindoli, Campo di Giove, Campotosto, Castel del Monte, Pizzoferrato, Gamberale. Civitaluparella at 903 meters (2962 ft). SOme were isolated for over ten days, partly because of a large avalanche in the vicinity. At Pescina, just over 700 meters (2296 ft) of altitude, in some spots the snow had reached 23 ft deep, halting the Avezzano-Sulmona railroad.