Delivering holiday joy
From the bustle of city centers to the most remote parts of the world, Amazon is delivering holiday gifts to customers, no matter where they are. This Christmas, vans full of decorations and gifts journeyed across Spain and Italy to deliver a dose of holiday cheer to some of the countries’ hard-to-reach villages.
Sitting 1,692 metres (more than a mile) above sea level—accessible by winding, narrow roads—Valdelinares is the highest village in Spain. This quaint village in the Teruel province has 87 registered inhabitants. Remote villages like Valdelinares have limited access to shops where they can purchase holiday gifts for loved ones. E-commerce has become an essential service to residents in these remote locations, providing them with access to millions of products without having to leave the house. Valdelinares is just one of more than 5,000 towns in Spain with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, that have access to Amazon’s convenient, free shipping options.
“In the past, when the Christmas season was coming, we had to organize a shopping trip to the nearest city—which is an hour away by car,” said Valdelinares resident, Carmen. “Now, with Amazon, we can buy from home and receive the products in a few days with the convenience of not having to leave the town. There are Amazon packages arriving to Valdelinares every day!”
Christmas-themed vans were loaded with decorations, including a 20-foot tree and gifts of board games and more for local residents, to mark the beginning of the festive season. Led by mayor Pedro José García Miravete, the people of Valdelinares joined Amazonians in the main square as the Christmas tree lights switched on when Miravete asked Alexa to ‘Turn on Christmas!’
“We are very pleased that Amazon has chosen Valdelinares to celebrate Christmas and that all our residents have been able to enjoy this event,” said Miravete. “Our village represents rural—and sometimes remote—Spain, an area not always covered by services on a daily basis. Even so, companies such as Amazon are increasingly reaching these locations, making life easier for residents.”
High up in the mountains of Italy sits the charming community of Calitri. The beautiful pastel buildings mask a village still feeling the aftermath of a devastating earthquake 20 years ago. “Calitri is a wonderful and authentic hamlet, and like so many small towns, we’re witnessing a depopulation,” said Calitri mayor, Michele di Maio. “It’s important for people to hear about us, to come visit and appreciate what we have to offer.” Amazon took the invitation.”
Amazonians and delivery service provider drivers traveled to Calitri with vans full of decorations to light the village for the start of Christmas, including a six-foot tree that would sit at the heart of the village. Nearly 4,500 residents gathered in the main square to celebrate. As holiday tunes played, Christmas-themed vans pulled into the square. Delivery drivers opened the van doors to surprise school children with hundreds of educational toys to bring back to their classrooms after the Christmas break.
“We’re so happy to welcome Amazon to our town. Calitri has just 4,530 residents, and so many of us have gathered here to ring in Christmas. Our most sincere thanks goes out to the company for their incredible gifts and for making this holiday seasons so special for so many, especially our children,” said Maio.
“To me, Christmas means sharing special moments with my family,” said Nicola, a driver for an Amazon delivery service provider in Naples, Italy. “This year, I felt like Santa Claus. It was a long journey to Calitri but it was worth it for the smiles and hospitality we got from the town. This was an emotional day that will stay with me for a long, long time.”