by Melinda Gallo

Rain, thunder, lightning, and hail

This morning was like any other morning this week: a bright sun high above a clear, blue sky accompanied by heavy, humid air. I had to shut my windows earlier this afternoon because of the heat wafting in from the outside. At around 5pm, I saw grey clouds looming behind the hills of the city. A bolt of lightning struck behind the low hills in San Niccolò that caught my eye. And shortly after, it began to rain. When I opened the window again, the temperatures had dropped many degrees. I had to shut the window immediately because it was cold.

I watched the rain fall heavily outside and noticed a few women in summer dresses and shorts running down the street for cover, a man riding his bicycle holding an umbrella and avoiding potholes in the street, and a few people standing under the awning of the buildings in the piazza to stay dry. What started as a few drops of rain, turned out to be a strong storm with grandine (hail). At a few points during the storm, the rain came down so hard that the sky turned white.

It was so beautiful to see the water cleanse the city especially since we haven't had a good rain in a while. For weeks it has felt like we were on the verge of a good storm, but it didn't come until today.

At one point, I walked into the bagno (bathroom) to find a geco (gecko) crawling on the wall. I screamed, not expecting to see something moving. I immediately called Alessandro who told me that I probably scared it. I wanted him to come home immediately to take it outside, but he said to leave it alone. I did and hoped only that if it eats insects, that it'd eat some of the mosquitoes.

An hour and a half later, the clouds passed and the rain stopped. Earlier in the week, I had heard that it was going to cool down and seeing that our temperatures reached well up to 35°C (95°F), I couldn't figure out how it would just drop. The storm helped in cooling off the entire city, and brought our temperatures to around 20°C (68°F).

I went back into the bagno and I didn't see the geco. I hope he went back outside now that the thunder and lightning have stopped. I hope that he's used to the rain and cold temperatures, and hasn't sought out a warm place for the winter in our bagno.

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