Transport links severed between Rome and Florence as army defuses WW2 bomb

The main Rome-Florence highway was closed to traffic and high-speed train services linking the two cities were suspended for several hours on Wednesday to allow the army to defuse a World War II era bomb.

Regular connections were expected to resume at around 1.30 pm, highway company Autostrade per l'Italia and Italian railway operator Ferrovie dello Stato said.

Earlier on Wednesday, a no-fly zone was enforced over the area and hundreds of residents were evacuated from the Umbrian town of Giove, near Orte, where the 450-kilogramme bomb was unearthed on Sunday.

Italy saw bitter fighting between advancing Allied troops and retreating German forces after the deposition of its Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in July 1943, but the provenance of the unexploded bomb was unclear.