Storms across Italy left St Mark’s Square in Venice more than a four feet under water today, delayed flights and snarled traffic.
Lightning damaged the dome of 16th century Santa Sofia church on the island of Capri in the Bay of Naples. Thunder was so loud it jolted many Romans awake several times during the night.
The storm left 6,000 residents without electricity in the Trieste area in north-eastern Italy.
In Venice, a city of islands in a lagoon, the water level rose by more than four feet, submerging St Mark’s Square and other parts of the historic centre.
Pedestrians donned rubber boots and used the elevated walkways of wooden planks, which are routinely laid down when Venice is swamped by high waters.
In Rome, flights at Leonardo da Vinci airport suffered delays from the rain storm, while morning commuter traffic in the city centre was far worse than usual as drivers tried to avoid swathes of flooding on a main artery flanking the Tiber River.