THE death toll in Italy has risen to at least 17 after a week of severe storms caused flooding and widespread damage across the country, including to major tourist destinations.
The powerful winds and torrential rains devastated parts of Italy and caused the worst flooding Venice as seen in a decade.
In the northern region of Veneto, damage has reached an amount of one billion euros (A$1.6 billion).
Winds of up to 190 kilometres per hour destroyed hectares of prized forest, felling 300,000 trees in the famous Violin Forest.
Two people were killed when a falling tree crushed their car in the mountainous countryside in northwestern Italy, as rainstorms and strong winds continued to pummel much of the country.
The Italian news agency ANSA also reported on Thursday that a man died of injuries suffered earlier this week when his car crashed into fallen trees in the Alpine region of South Tyrol.
Storm damage has also cut off roads to the picturesque village of Portofino, leaving ferries the only transport to and from the Mediterranean port town for the next few days.
In Florence, the Boboli Gardens, where cypresses had fallen a few days ago, were reopened to visitors.
Venice was severely flooded this week with water covering the mosaic floor of St Mark’s Basilica.
A German woman died during a storm after she was struck by lightning on the Italian island of San Pietro, near the larger island of Sardinia, a spokesman for the Civil Protection Agency said on Saturday.
The woman was hiking with her husband and son, according to news agency ANSA, when bad weather moved in, causing the family to end the outing on Friday afternoon.
Before they returned to their car, the woman was hit by lightning and thrown several metres into the air.
A total of 17 people across Italy have been killed over the past week in storms, tornadoes, floods, mudslides and gale force winds.
The northeastern province of Belluno has been particularly badly hit.
Angelo Borelli from the local Civil Protection Agency described some of the scenes as “apocalyptic” with collapsed roads and downed telephone poles in winds of up to 190 kilometres per hour.
Weather warnings are still in place for Sardinia and Sicily.