Someone stole Naples' Christmas tree within 24 hours

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
Someone stole Naples' Christmas tree within 24 hours
Galleria Umberto I in Naples. Photo: zx6r92/Depositphotos

A Christmas tree lasted just 24 hours in Naples' most famous shopping arcade before someone stole it.


By Friday morning, only a few branches, some baubles and a stump remained of the tree installed the day before in the Galleria Umberto I. 

The thieves had removed the rest of the metres-high tree, decorations and all. Photos show a clean cut, suggested that the culprits may have been equipped with a chainsaw.

The tree had been donated to the glass-roofed arcade by the Gran Caffè Gambrinus, one of Naples' oldest establishments, just the day before.

It was "a present for Naples", the café said in a video inaugurating the decorations.

It's not the first time that the Galleria Umberto has had its Christmas tree stolen, but this is believed to be a record for the shortest time a tree has lasted, according to Ansa

In previous years police have found stolen trees – or bits of them – in the city's dense Spanish Quarters, waiting to be used in the traditional bonfires that Neapolitans lights around January 17th to celebrate Sant'Antonio Abate. 

In 2015, a gang of youths got as far as stripping the arcade's tree of decorations and dragging it to the exit before fleeing when they were spotted by some soldiers. The tree was reinstated, this time secured to the ground with steel cables.

Other residents have taken to locking Christmas trees behind gates or with padlocks to prevent thefts.

There's nothing else for it but to put up a fence around the Galleria Umberto's tree, commented Green Party regional councillor Francesco Emilio Borrelli – which would end a local tradition of people writing down their Christmas wishes and hanging them on the branches. Or, he suggested, neighbouring businesses should pay for private security guards to protect Christmas decorations.



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also