During the holidays, big vibrant cities usually play host to large and grandiose Christmas trees. There's the famous tree at Lincoln Center in New York. There's the big, glowing orb of a Norway Spruce at Chicago's Millennium Park, and the imposing tree jutting upwards at London's Traflagar square.
Then there's Rome. The Italian capital has in recent weeks been dragged through muck and mire on Twitter for its Christmas tree, which hasn't lived up to the city's legendary stature. The tree, which reportedly cost the city $57,000 to transport to the Piazza Venezia, is a balding network of pines and brittle branches. (It's been nicknamed "Spelacchio," which translates to "mangey" in Italian). And it's also been described as a "toilet brush" by one disappointed Roman who spoke to The New York Times.
Despite being festooned with ornaments, the tree looks like it wants nothing to do with Christmas. It would rather take a nap than open presents.
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Many have pointed out that the tree isn't just suffering from a case of a premature baldness, because it's actually dead (as in it actually looks dead; all Christmas trees are technically dead). This means its a zombie masquerading as a Christmas mascot -- a first in the long history of major cities and their holiday celebrations. Congratulaziones Roma!
The tree even has its own Twitter account with over 5,000 followers. Naturally, people are cyberbullying the poor spruce.
Long live Spelacchio, may we forever remember your Christmas misery.
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