The country is facing a €3 billion cleanup bill after torrential rain and gale-force winds caused chaos and destruction.

Severe winds and storms destroyed homes and wiped out entire forests, while floods killed a family of nine in Sicily.

Meanwhile, Venice was completely flooded in the highest waters to inundate the lagoon city in 10 years.

Italy’s Infrastructure Minister Danilo Toninelli, who will appoint a commissioner to deal with the state of emergency, said someone was needed to “follow simplified procedures” and to carry out the task “well and legally”. 

Eleven regions have requested a state of emergency: Liguria, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sicily, Lazio, Sardinia, Calabria, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Trentino-Alto Adige. 

These regions are planning to cooperate at a national level in order to access the EU Solidarity Fund, which provides areas affected by natural disasters with funds from a €500 million pot. 

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Sunday said €250 million had already been earmarked for relief but that up to €40 billion would be needed to protect Italy against similar events in the future.