Christmas tree returns to Piazza Venezia in 2022.
Rome's Christmas tree arrived in the Italian capital before dawn on 29 November, with technicians at work to set it up in its traditional base in Piazza Venezia.
The 23-metre high fir from Varese in northern Italy will be illuminated by the mayor Roberto Gualtieri after 16.30 on Thursday 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a public holiday in Italy.
The Christmas lights along the city's main thoroughfare Via del Corso will also be switched on at the same time, all powered by a solar power plant courtesy of energy provider ACEA.
The tree will be decorated with 100,000 lights and 800 gold, silver and red baubles, according to local news reports.
Rome sets up this year’s Christmas tree in Piazza Venezia #Roma pic.twitter.com/JxTm6pMn19— Wanted in Rome (@wantedinrome) November 30, 2022
In 2018 and 2019 the American streaming giant Netflix sponsored the city's Christmas tree however since then the city has picked up the bill.
In 2017 Rome's Christmas tree was christened "Spelacchio" due to the 'manginess' of that year's specimen whose threadbare branches drew negative news headlines in Italy and around the world.
After the initial outrage over the tree, which was compared unfavourably to a toilet brush, Spelacchio won the hearts of Romans who festooned it with messages of affection and sympathy.
Many Rome residents would agree however that Spelacchio was not the city's worst Christmas tree of all time, reserving that dubious honour for the white papier-mâché Christmas tree installed by former mayor Gianni Alemanno in 2011.
The short-lived tree was removed within hours of its installation but not before a Rome politician captured the general mood by calling it “the epitome of bad taste”.
Until 2015 Rome had two main Christmas trees, one in Piazza Venezia and one in front of the Colosseum. However this custom was discontinued on cost-cutting grounds by former mayor Virginia Raggi.
This year, the Vatican Christmas tree in St Peter's Square will be illuminated on 3 December.
Cover image: Christmas tree in Piazza Venezia, 30 November 2022. Photo Wanted in Rome.
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Rome to light up Christmas tree on 8 December
Piazza Venezia, Roma RM, Italy
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