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Gubbio Lights Up the World’s Largest Christmas Tree

A unique tradition, etched in the memories of every child, becomes a small yet significant triumph for a village nestled among the Umbrian hills. We’ve reached the 43rd edition, warming the slopes of Mount Ingino, just behind the town of Gubbio, each year. The spirit of fraternity, teamwork, and camaraderie fuels the tradition, which involves many generations working side by side: dads, sons, grandparents, and grandchildren. This is the story of the world’s largest Christmas tree.

Gubbio enters the Guinness World Record

Since 1981, the tree has been lit on the day of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), and ten years later, it rightfully secures a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Its impressive dimensions capture the attention of visitors, citizens, and road users from dusk until late at night. The tree covers an area of 130 square meters, stands at an imposing height of 750 meters, and is adorned with over 700 lights, defining its characteristic shape.

World's Largest Christmas Tree in Gubbio
The illuminated path inside Gubbio’s tree | Credit

Be that as it may, here are the numbers to better understand its dimensions:

  • Height: 750 meters
  • Base Width: 450 meters
  • Occupied Space: 130 square meters
  • Length of Light Cables: over 7500 meters
  • Number of Lights: 300 shaping the tree silhouette; 250 for the star topper; 400 multicolored lights inside the tree
  • Assembly Time: 1300 hours
  • Total Number of Sockets: 1350

Gubbio’s initiative is exclusively Italian, a source of pride not only for its citizens but also beyond national borders. However, it’s important to note that the tree is not just made of lights! A significant addition to the latest edition is the introduction of 13 speakers along the summit of various trees on Mount Ingino. This way, the journey inside the world’s largest tree is enriched with sweet Christmas melodies, offering a 360° immersive experience for tourists.

A labor of friendship and sacrifice

How is it possible to sustain such a complex project for over 40 consecutive years? Keeping faith in such a commitment is far from easy, but it is made possible by the strong sense of social belonging and friendship that has grown over time. Basically, we’re talking about different generations that have succeeded each other in realizing Gubbio‘s tree, constantly seeking to bring innovations and an extra touch of beauty.

Some volunteer workers for the construction of the new tree structure | Credit

Obviously, this is a beautiful story of belonging to a community in a small rural village. Thanks to the voluntary contribution of friends, Gubbio‘s tree has been brought to international acclaim, maintaining continuity through the spontaneity and willingness of its citizens.

Volunteers working in the hills of Umbria – Mount Ingino |Credit

The photos taken in the late hours are breathtaking and suggestive; the scene resembles a postcard, with the Mount Ingino tree as the absolute protagonist of the celebration.

The event is highly characteristic, from the planning of the new tree to the actual lighting ceremony on the night between December 7 and 8. In its early years, the ceremony was almost a private ritual; since 1988, however, it has taken on the characteristics of a public event. Generally, various influential figures, politicians, or associations are invited to light the tree every year. For example, in 1998, the honor went to Terence Hill, the star of the iconic TV series Don Matteo. In 2012, it was the turn of Giorgio Napolitano, the 11th President of the Italian Republic. Notable guests include Pope Francis in 2014 and Medici Senza Frontiere in 2015. The complete guest list is available here.

World's Largest Christmas Tree
The lights of the tree reconcile the route in the neighboring streets | Credit

The tree is powered by green energy

A final gem of this treasure in the Italian hinterland is the choice to adopt a green energy policy, which is more than respectable. The lighting system consumes an average of about 11,500 kWh per year, with lighting installations of 35 kW. Hence, to cope with this amount of energy, a photovoltaic system with 16 modules of 280 W each has been installed. This way, every year, a significant portion of the energy needed to cover the lighting system’s demand during the tree’s illumination period is generated.

World's Largest Christmas Tree
The tree looks majestic and shining above Gubbio | Credit

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