Rome gets rare snowfall, and it's an ancient winter wonderland

Rome was greeted on Monday morning by its first snowfall in six years.

With 1.2 to 1.6 inches on the ground, the mayor of the Italian capital, Virginia Raggi, ordered public schools closed and many private schools followed suit. Authorities opened several train stations as emergency shelters for the homeless. 

The uncharacteristic weather for the city stems from a massive cold front moving over Europe, dubbed by much of British media as “The Beast From the East.” The chilly temperatures span from the U.K. to Moscow, and nearly five feet of snow has fallen in areas of Croatia.

A car carrying Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven skidded into a guardrail north of Stockholm during a blizzard, but no one was hurt.

The cold snap is expected to continue for the next few days, peaking on Thursday, U.K. Met Office meteorologist Becky Mitchell told CNN.

The wintery scenes in Rome have made for gorgeous pictures in photos and videos that have been cropping up all over, with the city’s most scenic and historical locales ― the Colosseum, the Vatican, etc. ― often serving as the backdrop. 

See more for yourself below: 

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Rome gets rare snowfall
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Rome gets rare snowfall
A priest plays with snow during a heavy snowfall in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: Dogs during a snow storm at the Arch of Constantine on February 26, 2018 in Rome, Italy. Rome is seeing snow for the first time in six years while many other European cities also have freezing weather. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: A snowman in front of the Colosseum during a snow storm on February 26, 2018 in Rome, Italy. Rome is seeing snow for the first time in six years while many other European cities also have freezing weather. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)
People play with the snow as Saint Peter's Basilica dome is seen in the background after a heavy snowfall in Rome, Italy February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: Buidlings covered in snow following a storm on February 26, 2018 in Rome, Italy. Rome is seeing snow for the first time in six years while many other European cities also have freezing weather. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)
Nuns walk past a bike covered in snow during a heavy snowfall in Rome, Italy February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A man walks during a heavy snowfall in downtown Rome, Italy February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A worker removes the snow at the Campidoglio palace during an heavy snowfall in Rome, Italy February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Statues are seen covered by snow during a heavy snowfall in Rome, Italy February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Roofs are seen covered in snow during a heavy snowfall in downtown Rome, Italy February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A man skis during a heavy snowfall in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
*** ITALY OUT ***ROME ITALY FEBRUARY 26: A snow man is pictured in the Saint Peter square in Vatican RAVAGLIPHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY Marco Ravagli / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Marco Ravagli / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
*** ITALY OUT ***ROME ITALY FEBRUARY 26:Piazza San Pietro after the heavy snowfall that struck Rome in the early hours of the morning RAVAGLIPHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY Marco Ravagli / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Marco Ravagli / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
A young priest throws a snow ball during a heavy snowfall in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: A person walks following a snow storm on February 26, 2018 in Rome, Italy. Rome is seeing snow for the first time in six years while many other European cities also have freezing weather. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: The snow-covered traffic lights in the San Lorenzo district on February 26, 2018 in Rome, Italy. The 'Beast from the East', an arctic storm set record low temperatures across much of Europe, with Rome seeing it's first snowfall in years (Photo by Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: Children play at the Pineto's park overlooking the Vatican after the snowfall in the night on February 26, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: The sculpture on St. Peter's colonnade at Vatican after the snowfall in the night on February 26, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Snow in Rome this morning. Children are delighted. Very little traffic, hardly anyone able to get to work. A specia… https://t.co/v26qt9f0tY
Snow in Rome ❄❄❄ It's a very rare event!! 😱😱😱 https://t.co/YRDayfVsCf
Snowball fight between seminarians from American College and British College. #rome #snowday #nevearoma #StPeters https://t.co/BHj2apMFt3
Continua a nevicare abbondantemente a #Roma: scenari da favola in centro #neve #nevearoma #snow #Burian https://t.co/VnS8bDVVSg
A snowy Mausoleum of Hadrian #Rome #neveroma #archaeology https://t.co/4kSLf6BGI8
I’ve never seen Piazza Navona like this. Rome. Snow. Love it. https://t.co/FLMSCjLSs8
Rome today 😍 Photo Reuters https://t.co/24Wz9PJF0b
Neve a Roma #nevearoma #neveroma #roma #snowrome https://t.co/KTIiX9hlHV
The Forum looking stunning in the snow. No people, just incredibly peaceful #neveroma #roma #forum #archaeology https://t.co/HKeWndf2KV
When Virginia Raggi preemptively cancelled all schools for Monday (from Mexico) I thought it was ridiculous. And th… https://t.co/SYn5IocTts
Such a beautiful #goodmorning in #Roma 😍😍 @Roma #snow #snowfall #buongiorno #nevearoma #Neve #26febbraio #26Feb… https://t.co/YqpS4iZHvI
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: Children play at the Pineto's park overlooking the Vatican after the snowfall in the night on February 26, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: Trees lay on the road after ahftwer heavy snow fall Tiburtina street in the San Lorenzo district on February 26, 2018 in Rome, Italy. The 'Beast from the East', an arctic storm set record low temperatures across much of Europe, with Rome seeing it's first snowfall in years (Photo by Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: Children play in St. Peter's square at Vatican after the snowfall in the night on February 26, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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