A magnificently large Christmas tree erected in the Eternal City has died—and it has been standing dead in the Piazza Venezia, in the heart of Rome, for some while now.
It…does not look great.
The tree died two weeks after delivery to the city, according to the Guardian, which also reported it was not covered properly during its trip from the Dolomites, a mountain range in Northeastern Italy.
Apparently, many Romans are upset that a nearly $60,000 purchase now looks like a 65-foot Charlie Brown tree. Some have expressed embarrassment that the capital city’s tree appears so pathetic compared to that of Milan. Others, though, have grown fond of the tree. Its popularly given name, Spelacchio, which can translate to “baldy” or “mangy,” has been used both disparagingly and affectionately.
At night, at least, it could look worse.
And if Romans really want to see a healthy Christmas tree, the Vatican’s seems just fine.
One more thing
You depend on Slate for sharp, distinctive coverage of the latest developments in politics and culture. Now we need to ask for your support.
Our work is more urgent than ever and is reaching more readers—but online advertising revenues don’t fully cover our costs, and we don’t have print subscribers to help keep us afloat. So we need your help. If you think Slate’s work matters, become a Slate Plus member. You’ll get exclusive members-only content and a suite of great benefits—and you’ll help secure Slate’s future.