The Christmas season is here, houses will be filled with family and friends and the Christmas trees will be shining. I hope all of you take time to share important traditions and the religious significance of this important feast.
Celebrations filled with food and opening presents are some of my best childhood memories. I can relive those moments now with my nieces, nephews and my wonderful Godchildren. I am so excited to see all of their eyes as they tear into that paper on Christmas morning. I feel so fortunate to have so many families and friends in my life and wish all of you the best Christmas season.
This is my mom’s favorite holiday. If anyone has seen our home at Christmas, you will know why. My mom and her elves dedicate six weeks turning our home into a winter wonderland. It doesn’t matter if you are a young child or a child at heart you will fall in love with the spirit of Christmas all over again when you visit our home. She works so hard to make us all love the season just a little more.
Please enjoy this article from Rosa Di Grottole originally printed in December 2016. Buon Natale to you and your family.
This year marks the 36th anniversary of the Gubbio Christmas tree lighting. Since 1981, this wonderful Tree on Mount Ingino revives the small Umbrian town.
In the province of Perugia, Gubbio is a small town situated in the heart of Umbria. The city hosts artistic monuments, architectural heritage, and numerous archaeological sites.
The first settlements in the territory date back to the Paleolithic period. In the Bronze Age, a primordial inhabited center developed on Mount Ingino. Over the years, Romans and Lombards, Guelphs and Ghibellines dominated the city. In the medieval period, the town was the target of many attacks by Perugia. During the Renaissance, annexed to the Duchy of Urbino, Gubbio shone for magnificence and grandeur.
Along the romantic and intimate alleyways that wind through the city center you can admire churches and historical buildings of inestimable artistic value, such as the 14th century Palazzo dei Consoli that sits on a grandiose and wide square or the Palazzo Ducale, commissioned by Federico da Montefeltro around 1470 and completed under the guidance of his son Ubaldo. He also provided a splendid Studiolo similar to the more famous one that you can still admire in Urbino’s Palazzo Ducale. The Studiolo of Gubbio was dismantled and sold in 1939 at the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
The beautiful town is a destination for visitors, especially during Christmastime when the magic atmosphere draws travelers to timeless places. The famous Christmas tree entered into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1991. It has a base of 1,150 ft. and a height of 2,130 ft. The tree starts from the walls of the city and extends up to the Basilica of Sant'Ubaldo on top of the mountain. More than 800 bulbs complete the star and color the huge tree’s shape, and more than 5 miles of electrical cable supplies its power.
Over the years, many famous personalities from all over the world have attended the Lighting Celebration that takes place on December 7: Pope Benedict XVI in 2011, the Italian Republic President Giorgio Napolitano in 2012, and Pope Francesco in 2014.
The installation usually begins in early September and requires countless volunteers, alberaioli. The design is presided over by a committee with ages ranging from 21 to over 80-years-old; a demonstration of how the various generations are united by the dedication to the enhancement of our beloved Italy.