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Rome Reports

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Introducing the 80 foot Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square

Although Christmas is still more than a month away, the Vatican's main Christmas tree has already arrived. It measures more than 80 feet tall, even though a large piece was cut off to transport it. It was donated by three cities from the Bavaria region of Germany, where the tree came from. Vatican landscapers are preparing the tree to be set up with the Nativity scene, though that won't appear until December 8th. To see the tree lit up, you'll have to wait until the evening of Friday the 18th.  The Christmas tree was already catching people's notice: and they had plenty of opinions. "This tree seems like an atrocity, to tear it from its place and bring it here just because people want to see a Christmas tree.â? "It really reflects the holiday spirit and hopefully that will bring us a bit of peace and harmony. We can feel that it's so necessary in the world.â? "I think it's amazing. I didn't really expect to see it. It's still November. It's really exciting to see it come up. We got here earlier in the day and it was still on the ground and now we've come outside the Vatican and it's fully erected. I want to see if it's decorated when I come back. It's a cool thing they do. And it's big enough right next to the obelisk, it looks really cool.â? Part of the tree is made of clay. It's been used for therapy for children who suffer from cancer. Next to the tree will be two scenes will be the Nativity scene. The characters this year will be dressed like pastors from the Italian region Trentino in the last century. Although winter weather hasn't totally arrived in Rome, the tree's appearance has brought the Christmas spirit to St. Peter's Square.  IPC/ATO RR JM PR UP: IPC