Rome's 'mangy' Christmas tree back, 'star' after polemics'

'Spelacchio' has 80,000 lights and 1,000 decorations

(ANSA) - Rome, December 2 - The Italian capital's Christmas tree, which has for the past two years been dubbed "Spelacchio" due to its threadbare appearance, has been set up in Rome's central Piazza Venezia and Mayor Virgina Raggi said it would "once more be a star despite rows".
    It will be inaugurated by Raggi, who on Monday called it "the most famous Christmas tree in the world" and said that the lights would be lit in a December 8 ceremony over which she will preside. It will have 80,000 lights and over 1,000 decorations, she said.
    Last year's tree was quickly dubbed 'Spelacchio #2' after 2017's 'mangy' toilet-brush-like specimen that initially symbolised the capital's urban blight but eventually won the affection of Romans and tourists alike.
    The first Spelacchio got its name because of its threadbare lack of pine needles, while the second one was seen as a reincarnation because many of its central branches appeared to have been snapped off.