7 Facts about Snow and my Long Term Relationship with it

Discover the seven facts about snow I shared last week on Instagram and learn about the peculiar bond I have with it.

snow

What’s your relationship with snow? Do you love or hate it? It might sound like a stupid question – who doesn’t love snow, you might say – but it really isn’t. There are stone-hearted people, like myself, that do not particularly like it and tend to see it as a nuisance rather than a magical event.

Truth to be told, snow and I are old pals. We know each other from a very long time and, according to someone, we are even related. Yes, related in the sense of “family”.  In my country there’s a particular way to call people like me, I am among the ”children of the snowfall of the century”.

Yes, I was born during the coldest winter and the scariest and most abundant snowfall of the 20th century in Italy and since then, snow has always sort of stuck with me. When I was about to be born, the snow outside of my home, in a village on the hills near the Small Dolomites, had reached about seven feet; my mother was advised by the operators in charge of cleaning the streets from the snow to move southern, toward the valley, as they were not sure they would be still able to reach those homes with their vehicles in the next few days.

Mom did indeed move southern before she was due, avoiding the Medical Air Services to come get her as happened to other pregnant women. What to add…we are a generation of people who caused trouble since the very beginning! In my natal village, a rural reality where the population was constantly decreasing, there hadn’t been a newborn for nearly twenty years and when I was born all the elderly said it really was a big event and I made myself noticed for sure with such a calamity happening!

Since then, my very beginning, I have started to know the “white lady” and recognize when it was about to come (yes, you can literally feel it in your bones), its characteristics and even its smell. Snow does indeed have a smell, a smell that makes the air lighter and cleaner. My nonno also taught me some tricks in order to detect how the storm was going to act. If the snow was really wet and fell from the branches with a thud, snow was going to turn soon into rain, but was if the snow stood on the branches?

Another fact that connected me and my territory to the snow, is related to one of our best writer of 1900, Mario Rigoni Stern. Mario is, without a doubt, the writer of the snow and the Nature.

Snow makes you melancholic. I go back in time with my mind when I’m in my room or in my house and I see it’s snowing, the first autumnal snow; it’s an avalanche of memories that crashes your heart.

His Sergeant in the Snow was translated in multiple languages and thanks to his Sentieri sotto la Neve ( Trails Under the Snow) I was able to learn all the different names the inhabitants of Altopiano di Asiago, a famous plateau in the province of Vicenza, give to snow:

View this post on Instagram

#12WeeksInItaly 📍 Week nr. 2 – #Snow [entry 11/84] Until some time ago, it was common knowledge that eskimos had 52 ways to call the snow, but now it seems like it was just a legend. One thing is sure, though, in Altopiano di Asiago, the plateau in Veneto famous for the Asiago cheese, until few decades ago and when the Cimbrian language was still common, there were at least 7 names to indicate the snow: ❄ BRUSKALAN, the first snow of the winter; ❄ SNEEA, the "real" snow, the one that made people bring out ski and sleds; ❄ HAAPAR, the one that fell at the end of the winter, that started to disappear when the sun hit it; ❄ HAARNUST, the snow that during the spring in the "hot" hours slightly softened in its superficial layer and that hardened during the night. Good for the excursions during the first hours of the morning as one did not sink in it; ❄ SWALBALASNEEA, "the snow of the robin", which is the one that fell in March; ❄ KUKSNEEA, "the snow of the cuckoo", which is the one that fell in April; ❄ BACHTALASNEEA, "the snow of the quail", that lasted just few hours. . [If you want to learn more about this and you know Italian, read "Sentieri sotto la neve" by Mario Rigoni Stern] . . #snowfall #mountains #cimbri #cimbro #mariorigonistern #cimbrian #languagelover #language #langblr #natureloversgallery #naturelovers #nature #naturaleza #nature_perfection #veneto #italy #whatitalyis #whatitalywas #charmingitaly #postcardsfromitaly #neve #travel #travelbloggers #travelbook #italylovers #Italophiles #coloursofnature

A post shared by SaRA { My Dear Italia } (@mydearitalia) on

Want to know other facts about snow? What about some vocabulary for those of you who are learning Italian?


And you? What’s your relationship with snow? Don’t tell me I’m the only one who think it’s a nuisance! D:

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8 thoughts on “7 Facts about Snow and my Long Term Relationship with it

  1. Ah, you did well to think of and gather all this excellent info about snow! In Slovenian, stiff egg whites are also called snow. And all those words for snow! Amazing!

    I grew up surrounded by it too, whereas amore, who is Romano and who was in the army at Lago di Como, will NEVER forget the terrible snow and cold they had there and calls snow “drama”. And now my parents inform me how many new cm of drama they have back home whenever it falls. When we visit Slovenia in the winter, he suffers terribly if he is forced to stroll around in the snow or visit any town that has snow. 😀

    I asked his Romano nephew, who is about 10, when was the last time he saw snow and he told me the year without thinking even before I finished my question. I think he said 2012. One man’s drama is another’s boy wishful thinking. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fkasara

      Ihih, “drama”, I love it!! 😀

      The relationship between Romans and snow is indeed funny! I know a couple of them, like your nephew, that can tell by heart how much time has passed from the last snowfall and how many years Rome hasn’t experienced snow during the last century. Then, when it does snow in Rome, lots of them start panicking over few cm, like it’s a tragedy…it’s true they don’t have vehicles to clean the streets, but they should see when it TRULY snows!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t miss snow at all! Growing up in Canada we got a fair share of it. Here when it snows, it’s not bad because it’s gone within hours or the next day. I prefer to enjoy snow looking out a window while sitting in front of a fireplace with a hot chocolate! If I have to go out in it, forget it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. fkasara

      Same!! When I was a kid we got stucked with the car a couple of times and we had to walk back home with only the light of the moon guiding us! Not funny! Far from a romantic walk in the snow!

      I always say the snow is acceptable only when it is on the fields (and I don’t have to go outside!)

      Like

  3. As a native Floridian, I find snow fascinating. My grandparents took me out of school for a week when I was 8 or 10 to go up to Tennessee where my great-grandmother lived, all so I could see snow.

    When I moved to North Carolina, we always seemed to get snow right around my birthday in the early part of March. That had its ups and downs. In NY, we had a huge snow storm right before New Year’s Eve in NYC in 2001 and I had friends from Alabama visiting. That was an interesting and cold experience! A few years later, we moved to the suburbs of NY and it snowed from the end of November through to May. By then, the snow had certainly lost its charm. I remember looking out the window one day and yelling, “Stop snowing!!!!”

    Now, in the Netherlands and here, I’ve experienced it so little that I find it kind of nice (as long as I don’t HAVE to go out in it and risk slipping on ice on the pavement.) At least the portici here in Bologna help with some of that. Not that I’d know, as it only snowed one day, barely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fkasara

      Well, since you’re Floridian I can totally understand why you’re fascinated by it! I have been so used to it, that it’s inevitable I just consider it a nuisance, I guess!

      Haha, right, I guess portici are very helpful when dealing with rain and snow!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, so many interesting photos, legends and facts – the sheep falling from the sky, the humidity on the plants, the word for snowshoe from the Ladin language. And then the necessity of your mother to move south not to be snowed in for your birth! I must say that I think snow is beautiful, although growing up in NJ, 20 miles from Manhattan, that beautiful snowfall got very dirty very quickly. I also remember not enjoying shoveling, even though I don’t know how many times I was actually forced to do it.
    I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska for a couple of years. It’s in the center of the state and is sort of a northern desert. It doesn’t snow much during the 6 or 7 months of winter, but it doesn’t melt, either. The snow was so light that it was actually a joy to shovel! I’ve always been afraid to drive in it, so when in Alaska, I had studded tires.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fkasara

      Ah, I have to confess that I’m pretty good at driving in it! Snow is not THAT dangerous, though, the real problem is when it freezes during the night :/ That is very scary. In Northern Italy comuni are generally equipped with machines and they rely a lot on weather forecasts: if they see it’s going to snow, they put salt and gravel on the roads.

      Liked by 1 person

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