Finally Ferrara: Postcard From a City That Called Me Back

Have you ever pulled into a train station on your way to somewhere else and then promised yourself that some day you would make your way back? That was my experience with Ferrara.

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Buon Natale

Here Comes Babbo Natale!

Like many of you, I have already started my Christmas vacation. So, I thought I’d check in one last time before December 25 and share with you some of the prettiest Christmas pictures from Italy this year. I’ve done this by creating a gallery on Flickr. My Buon Natale 2009 gallery will feature up to 18 photos (per Flickr, only 18 per gallery). If you’ve found some great Christmas photos from Italy this year, please comment below or go over to my gallery and let me know.

Enjoy your holiday!

Photo © Giorgio12.

World’s Biggest Christmas Tree

albero-di-natale-gubbio-pRockefeller Center has nothing on this tree. The largest Christmas tree in the world is, in fact, in Gubbio, Umbria. But this is not any tree. No, this is not a tree at all. Gubbio’s Albero di Natale is a dazzling neon feat – and Guinness Book of World Records holder – that has been lighting up the hills of Umbria since 1981.

In order to get the tree ready for its annual December 7 lighting, local volunteers work for three months stringing lights and electrical equipment up the slope of Mount Ingino. (Yes, that is the same mountain that Eugubini scale each May for the celebration of the Corsa dei Ceri.) And, the numbers are astounding:

  • The surface area of the star is 1,000 square meters
  • The length of the connecting cables is 8,500 meters
  • The tree has more than 700 lights each of which requires 35 kilowatts of power to light
  • The tree has a height of 650 meters.

If you’re in some parts of Umbria, such as Perugia or Umbertide, from December 7 until approximately January 10, you should be able to see the bright lights from Gubbio’s Christmas tree. If you want to get a better look, head to Gubbio. For more information on Gubbio, visit the Comune of Gubbio website.

Photo © Agriturismo San Vittorino, Gubbio