It is not Christmas in Italy without a Panettone – and festivities kicked off in Milan with free slices of the biggest Italian candied cake in the World.
Weighing in at 140 kilogrammes (308 pounds), the 2 metre high marvel was sliced up into 1,200 pieces for sweet-toothed tourists and locals.
Panettone is the Christmas dessert par excellence. Fashions may change, but panettone remains an unshakable tradition.
The Milanese factory makes the traditional cake with its candied fruits and raisins not just for Italy but around the World.
It takes 36 hours to turn out a panettone, with raisins and candied peel added to the mix of water, sugar, flour, eggs, butter and vanilla.
Once baked, the cakes are hung upside down for 10 hours to allow the butter to drop. According to the Italian agricultural association Coldiretti, three quarters of Italians will have a slice of panettone at some point over the Christmas holidays.