Little Italy’s two beautiful Christmas trees are located at the Piazza Basilone and the Piazza della Famiglia. A permanent 30-foot tall live tree stands in the Piazza della Famiglia and a 25-foot custom lighting & Venetian faux-glass tree sits over the Piazza Basilone fountain.
AURORA at the Piazza Basilone
In 2019, Little Italy’s new Christmas Tree was revealed in Piazza Basilone — AURORA: The Northern Lights of Downtown. This faux stained-glass tree, standing at a solid 25-feet incorporates a Venetian faux-glass appearance symbolizing the strong heritage of the Italian tuna fishermen who built the neighborhood in the 1920’s. The display will be lit with over 1,000 LED bulbs, creating a 3D effect with different light animations. Based on the bulb’s color and sun, in relation to a viewer’s stance, the tree will scatter breathtaking hues like blue, magenta, gold, copper, yellow and green mimicking the San Diego Bay or the vibrant scales of the tuna that swim in our bay and ocean. The tree was designed by California artist, Joshua Hubert, known for his light and optics work in the San Francisco Bay area, Burning Man and the underground music communities. The tree will be topped with a brightly lit Moravian star crafted by artist Rudy Brubaker.
The Piazza della Famiglia Tree
The Piazza della Famiglia Christmas Tree was planted in 2016 and made its debut that same year. The permanent 30-foot tree is planted on the West side of the Piazza della Famiglia and is strung with Christmas lights and ornaments each holiday season. This tree is the one that is lit annually to officially kick-off the holiday season in Little Italy. This year the Little Italy Tree Lighting Ceremony will be streamed virtually for the Little Italy Christmas Special, honoring State and County directives, with remarks from Little Italy Association leadership with an Italian countdown by Father Joe Tabigue of Our Lady of the Rosary, a musical performance by Our Lady of the Rosary Choir in the historically renovated Church, a reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas by Santa & Mrs. Claus and more.