The lighting up of the world’s biggest Christmas tree
Picture a huge Christmas tree, that lights a whole mountain. Picture the magic, the atmosphere that results from lighting it up: this happens every year in Gubbio, where there is the world’s biggest Christmas tree, from 7 December to the second Sunday of January.
Story of Gubbio’s Christmas tree
In Umbria, precisely in the medieval town of Gubbio it has become a tradition to light up the world’s biggest Christmas tree: it is a tree of over 650 meters, featuring over 250 lights that unfold on mountain Ingino. At the top of the tree, there is, like every Christmas tree, the Christmas star with an area of about 1000 meters, which is lit up by more than 200 lights.
The first lighting up of the world’s biggest Christmas tree took place on 24 December 1981, thanks to the idea by Mario Santini: about ten years later “Mario Santini” world’s biggest Christmas tree committee was created, in honour of its inventor. Gubbio’s tree is in the Guinness World Record since 1991 as the world’s biggest Christmas tree, a great honor for the town.
Every year the light are set up meticulously by the members of the association, young and old, so as to give life to a shining Christmas tree shape: a fun fact is that every year it take about 7500 meters electrical cables and over 1300 hours of work to create this special tree.
The christmas tree, a symbol of recovery
On December 7 the world’s largest tree in Gubbio was lit up: this year Avis, Associazone Volontari Italiani del Sangue, has been chosen as sponsor which through the words of its president had the chance to thank the effort that the vounteers have put in the past two years of pandemic.
The lighting up of the Christmas tree is, for all citizens, also a symbol of recovery which brings hope for the new year but not only thatt, in fact, this year is the 40th anniversary since the tree’s first lighting up.
At the top of the tree, the highest part, there is the church of St Ubaldo, patron of the town, reminding that if we stay together you can overcome any obstacle, from the easier daily problems to the more difficult ones.
The lighting up of the tree was broadcast live on social media and was followed by many viewers all over Italy and around the world. The occasion was spectacular: it is good to remember that the tree covers an area of 130,000 square meters, which is about 15 soccer fields and it starts from the walls of the medieval town and goes all the way up to the top of the mountain.
Fun facts about the town of Gubbio
Gubbio is not only famous for the world’s biggest Christmas tree but also for other reasons.
First of all, it is very popular because it was the backdrop of the tv series Don Matteo, shot mainly in Gubbio: furthermore, it is also famous because the story goes that St Francis, after fleeing Assisi, came here. According to tradition St Francis did one of his most famous miracles in Gubbio, the one where he talked to the wolf to calm it down.
If you are planning to visit Gubbio in December, to see the world’s biggest Christmas tree, you will certainly want to know that the town centre is very folkloristic and there are several palaces, museums and churches: among these you ought to visit Palazzo dei Consoli, the Museum Diocesano, the Roman theatre and the Museum of the Church Santa Maria Nuova.
Additionally, a very particular attraction very appreaciated by tourists is the cableway in a box which allows to have an alternative view of the town: you can admire Gubbio starting from the valley and up until you reach mount Ingino, 908 meter above the sea level and once there you can visit the aforementioned basilica of St. Ubaldo.
If this article has you interested in the town of Gubbio, plan your trip the world’s biggest Christmas tree and the town itself!
Cover Image: alberodigubbio