It's very, very cold in Italy, with a foot or more of snow in some places, and a frozen lagoon in Venice. Italy is of course unprepared for what is normal New England weather, so everything is snarled up, with trains blocked, roads closed, schools out for days on end, and more chaos than the regular everyday confusion you already have in the bel paese. We seem to be having an Italian winter here in Boston (so far), very little snow and mild temps. Role reversal.
The weather is bad throughout Europe, causing even the famous little boy in Brussels to temporarily stop peeing. You'd think he'd put a jacket on.