Merry Christmas from Rome! (2016)

The Christmas decorations are quite understated in Rome this year.

Gone is the Christmas fair in Piazza Navona, but the carousel spins on.

It is an austerity Christmas, thanks for the most part to Rome’s newish mayor.

And the Romans, who will tolerate quite a bit, are not. having. it.

It has brought me much holiday glee to watch the social media back-and-forth regarding the low-budget decorations.

I scoffed when I saw that the stark and simple Via del Corso lights were sponsored by ACEA (the power company that I pay a good deal of money to every year).

But it was the Christmas tree – “the ugliest tree in Italy” – that sparked the outcry.

It’s ugly! Said some.

It would be better to do nothing at all! Said others.

And so, Virgina Raggi quickly spruced it up.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter how bright the lights are or how tall the tree is.

Wishing you a very very Merry Christmas!

-Natalie & Jimmy


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