The medieval Italian town of Gubbio is not only known for its beauty, but also for being home to the largest Christmas tree formed with lights in the world.
At 750 meters high, kilometers of lights are needed to drape over the side of Mount Ingino to form the shape of the tree.
This year a special guest illuminated the lights for the town and thousands of spectators.
From inside the Vatican, Pope Francis got ready to simply press a button on the screen of his tablet to trigger the illumination of the tree.
"I wish you a very holy and happy Christmas," the pope said, just before the illumination.
"Lighting the light of the nativity scene means that we want the light of God inside us. A Christmas without light, isn't Christmas. We need light in our soul, in our hearts, we need to forgive others and ensure that there are no enemies, because this brings shadows. We want the light of Jesus that is so beautiful. I wish this for all of you as we light this light," the pontiff said.
As the pope pressed the button on his tablet, millions of lights started to shine, showing the form of the Christmas tree overlooking Gubbio. The audience gasped and applauded as a fanfare struck up in the background.
The President of the Tree Committee, Lucio Costantini, was proud of the result.
"The tree is the biggest in the world and we have been placing it on the side of Mount Ingino which overlooks Gubbio, since 1981. It entered into the Guinness Book of Records in 1991. It is about 750 meter high, with a base of 450 meters and it occupies a ground space equivalent to thirty football pitches. The star comet on top is one meter squared. It is a very impressive structure," he said.
For the townsfolk of Gubbio the tree lights up their medieval streets and guides them home when they return from the nearest city of Perugia some 45 kilometers away, where most of them work. For the children it adds a touch of magic to the excitement of the season.sign up to our newsletter