I love Christmas trees - to me they are symbol of hope and optimism. Each Country has their own "best" trees, which are truly beautiful, but some of my favourite trees are in Italy and I am going to share them with you here.
Of course, I have to start with Milan!
Set in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II, which is stunningly beautiful in itself, without further decoration, is the Swarovski Tree. Lit up last year with what looked like slices of oranges and lemons, sparkling amongst all the tiny lights, it was a joy to behold. It was actually called the "Tree of Light" and was a message in rebirth. The decorations were 200 hand made crystal celestial bodies.
What will this year's tree be like - well, we will have to wait until the 8th to find out, but I am sure it will be just as beautiful!
The largest tree in the world? Here in Italy? - well yes, and what a tree!
Welcome to Gubbio in Umbria, where, on the slopes of Monte Ingino, which overlook the mediaeval town, an amazing, magical Christmas tree of over 700 lights is illuminated.
This dates back to 1981 and in 1991 the Guinness Book of Records recorded it as the World's largest tree.
What is it? Well, it is a "tree" marked out by lights up the side of the mountain. 650 m hight and 350m wide at the base, if consists of 3000 multi-coloured lights.
Apparently, it can be seen from over 30 miles away and the tradition began in 1981 when the residents of Gubbio wanted to find a different way to celebrate Christmas.
And for my favourite -
We head to Molise - to the town of Trivento. This town is also known as the "City of Crochet" thanks to the work of Lucia Santorelli who had the idea of making a long crochet cloak for the steps that link the town to the church of San Nicola, and thus created the longest crochet carpet in the world.
Trivento is now a famous centre for crochet and in August, artists from all over the world congregate to help make the crochet squares.
But, for me, the best thing is the tree. It is 6m hight and is made of 1,300 "granny squares" (crocheted squares). These have been crocheted by the women of Trivento, with such love and care for their traditions and for their city. It has been such a success that other towns across Italy and even as far away as Brazil, have joined in and created what is called
"A thread that unites from Trivento to ......"
See also https://www.italyinsideandout.com/post/christmas-in-italy-1-when-it-all-starts to find out all about the start of Christmas in Italy.