Rome's low-cost Christmas decorations

No Christmas tree at Colosseum this year.

Rome city council installed a Christmas tree in Piazza Venezia on 5 December, ahead of its traditional illumination on 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

This year's tree, a 20m-high spruce, was a gift from the town of Pinzolo-Madonna di Campiglio in Italy's northern Trentino region, while the lighting will be funded by energy supplier ACEA.

The only expense incurred by the city was the €15,000 costs for transport and crane hire.

Citing the "enormous savings compared to previous administrations", the capital's environment councillor Paola Muraro said there would be no Christmas tree at the Colosseum this year, on account of ongoing works for Metro C.

A recent article in Roman daily newspaper Il Messaggero stated that the capital was unlikely to have Christmas lights on its main streets this year due to the lack of public funds.

The illumination of Rome's premier shopping street, Via dei Condotti, has been funded for the third consecutive year by luxury fashion house Bulgari which also paid for the restoration of the nearby Spanish Steps.

However Christmas lights and decorations on smaller streets around the capital are normally paid for collectively by local businesses.

The Vatican's 25m-high Christmas tree and Nativity scene will be illuminated at 16.30 on Friday 9 December.