A spate of violent weather across Italy sent beachgoers running for cover late Tuesday when a fast-approaching storm whipped in heavy winds that blew away beach equipment, tore down trees and dropped fruit-sized hail.
Francesco di Giandomenico, a local postman, captured sunbathers fleeing from Tortoreto beach in Teramo province on Italy’s Adriatic coast. Strong winds are seen sweeping away inflatables as children and adults scramble from the dark clouds swirling overhead.
The bad weather included hailstorms, which damaged cars and rooftops in Tortoreto.
Orange-sized hail pummeled Pescara, a city about 42 miles south of Tortoreto, and injured 18 people. The Italian news agency ANSA quoted Pescara hospital emergency room officials as saying that Wednesday's hailstorm caused cuts requiring sutures and bruises, especially on the head.
Elsewhere in south-central Italy, hail in Venafro broke windows and windshields. A severe supercell over Venice inundated the city of canals with intense wind and rain.
On the outskirts of San Vito Lo Capo, a Sicilian beach town, a blaze forced beachgoers to flee. ANSA said 750 vacationers were able to return to their resort Wednesday after wind-whipped flames had forced evacuation by sea overnight.
On Wednesday, more bad weather hammered Italy as a tornado swept through the area of Milano Marittima, knocking down some 200 century-old pine trees in the popular Adriatic Sea resort.
The bad weather followed a few days of soaring temperature and was caused by contact between hot and cold weather fronts, local officials said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.