The beautiful town in Italy that boasts worlds tallest Christmas tree

A stunning Italian town has garnered a reputation for celebrating Christmas with what locals claim is the “world’s tallest tree”.

The medieval town of Gubbio, located between Florence and Rome in Italy’s central Umbria region, is home to fewer than 40,000 people who live on a strip of land in the shadow of local mountain Monte Ingino.

The mountain adds a flash of green to the town’s ancient landscape, which is strewn with ruined buildings.

During the festive period, the area literally flashes with dazzling lights organised on the mountainside.

Those lights form what locals have long claimed is the world’s largest Christmas tree.

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Gubbio residents have organised lights on the mountainside for decades, with a local lighting ceremony having been honoured since 1981.

Each ceremony employs 700 lights placed so they form the traditional pointed silhouette of a Christmas evergreen.

Pictures show 300 green lights tracing the tree’s outlines, with 400 blue, yellow, red and white bulbs blinking on the inside.

At the top, organisers place a shooting star that occupies the mountain’s peak.

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Each light forming the tree has been adopted by a Gubbio resident, who dedicates them to loved ones on occasions ranging from births to deaths.

The unusual but grand tradition requires approximately 8.5km (5.2 miles) of cables, which stretch to the mountaintop.

The tree’s base sits at the bottom of Gubbio’s ancient walls, and the star sits at approximately 750 metres.

The star is deliberately placed at the basilica of the town’s patron, Saint Ubaldo, which resides on the mountain peak.

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The lights – which netted a Guinness World Record in 1991 – are lit from dusk to late at night every December.

Locals have dubbed the lighting ceremony “Albero di Natale più Grande del Mondo”, which translates to “the largest Christmas tree in the world”.

The lights have garnered national attention from some of Italy’s highest-ranking officials.

Two popes have completed the lighting ceremony over the last decade, with Pope Benedict XVI switching them on using a tablet in 2011 and Pope Francis following with a ceremony of his own in 2014.

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