Rome lights up for Christmas

The second edition of Rome’s Christmas lights programme, titled “Roma si mette in luce” begins in Piazza Venezia at 19.00 on Saturday 8 December and lasts until 10 January.

The lights on the capital’s Christmas tree – a 30m fir donated from the town of Andalo in northern Italy – will be switched on. This will be followed by the half a million environmentally-friendly LED lights that provide a glittering ceiling over Via del Corso, as well as the lighting-up of Santa Claus’s house in Piazza S. Silvestro where children can get their photo taken with Babbo Natale.

Around the time of the switching-on ceremony, there will be numerous street closures and traffic diversions in the area, including on Via del Corso, between 18.30 and 20.30. For full traffic details see the city’s agency for mobility website.

The city also launches its first edition of the Babbo Natale Tour, aimed at children. From 8-22 December a special bus with some 30 Father Christmases aboard will tour the city. For more details about this and more of the capital’s Christmas events see the city website.

Meanwhile the Vatican's Christmas tree, a 25m White Spruce from southern Italy, has been placed beside the nativity scene in St Peter's Square and will be illuminated on 14 December. Once the Christmas holidays are over the timber from the tree will be turned into toys for children in need.