Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has lit the biggest Christmas tree in the world at Gubbio in Umbria.
Gubbio is a small medieval town at the base of the 2,950-foot-high Mount Ingino. The tree is made of coloured lights and covers the slopes of Mount Ingino. More than 250 bright-green lights form the silhouette of a fir tree on the mountain ridge overlooking Gubbio.
A group of local volunteers has been creating the tree since 1981. It entered ‘The Guinness Book of Records’ in 1991 as ‘The Largest Christmas Tree of the World’.
Some 200 lights form a star shape at the top of the tree, which covers 10,764 square feet. The tree is 2,133 feet tall and 1,148 feet wide at the base. The interior of the tree is littered with more than 300 multi-coloured lights to look like decorative baubles. Some 27,887 feet of electric cable is used for the wiring, and 1,350 plug sockets are used to connect the cable and lights. It takes 35 kilowatts of electric power to illuminate the tree via a photovoltaic system. Volunteers took 1,900 hours to assemble the tree on scaffolding.
President Napolitano lit the Christmas tree remotely from the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome using a Sony Xperia Tablet-S.
The Christmas tree remains alight until 9 January 2013. Concerts and exhibitions are held in Gubbio at the foot of the illuminated tree throughout the holiday period.