November 21, 2011

With a tap on an iPad, Pope Benedict will light the world’s largest electronic Christmas tree in the Italian town of Gubbio without having to leave his home in Vatican City.

The City of Gubbio and the Diocese of Gubbio announced at a news conference Nov. 12 that the pope would light the tree via a video link set up by the Vatican Television Centre.

The tree-lighting ceremony takes place on the evening of Dec. 7, the eve of the Immaculate Conception.

The electronic tree extends more than 600 metres upon the face of Mount Igino near Gubbio, and uses more than 8,000 metres of electrical cable.

Built in 1981, it was recognized in 1991 by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest Christmas tree.