Missing branches from Rome's Netflix-sponsored tree will be re-attached.
Rome's Christmas tree, sponsored by Netflix, has got off to an inauspicious start, already earning the nickname 'Spezzacchio' thanks to its "broken" or "split" state.
The 20-m high fir is missing a large part of its central section after branches were cut off to assist its transit from Varese in northern Italy. However the company behind its installation, IGP Decaux, said the branches had been sawn off deliberately, insisting that they would be stuck back on in time for the lighting-up ceremony with Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi on 8 December.
The tree was quickly christened #Spezzacchio on social media, following last year's "mangy" Spelacchio fiasco, and led to a flurry of ironic tweets from disgruntled Romans such as "Cosa c'è di più triste di un albero senza foglie? Semplice, un albero senza rami" (What's worse than a tree without leaves? Simple, a tree without branches).
Once its branches are re-attached, the tree will be decorated with 60,000 LED lights and 500 baubles, at a total cost to Netflix of €376,000.
The Vatican's Christmas tree, a 23m-high fir from Italy's northern Friuli region, will be illuminated in St Peter's Square on 7 December.
Photo taken by Wanted in Rome at 09.00 on 4 December 2018.