In a scene reminiscent of the The Grinch, residents once woke up to find someone had stolen the six-metre Christmas tree from the city’s famous Galleria Umberto.
But now they've come up with a cunning plan to protect the Christmas trees of the Campania city from the thieves’ clutches.
Along with baubles and fairy lights, trees in the city’s apartment buildings now come with padlocks and chains.
— Agenzia ANSA (@Agenzia_Ansa) December 11, 2014
The initiative was started by a concierge working close to central Piazza del Municipio, who chained a resident's Christmas tree to the staircase, Ansa said.
Elsewhere in the province, a Christmas tree was last month used to stash drugs, Il Mattino reported. Police in the Boscoreale neighbourhood arrested a woman and her son after breaking open a bauble, only to find it was stuffed with marijuana.
Christmas trees are also causing controversy across the border in France, where a row has erupted over Russia donating a €80,000 tree to Paris. Russia’s ambassador in the French capital said the gift was a “message of peace”, although critics argue it is merely a publicity stunt by Moscow.
All is well in the home of the Christmas tree, however, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcoming a 1.5-tonne fir to her Berlin offices. The tree, valued at just €50, was a gift from a private forester in the country.