Saturday, January 2

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care... hopes that La Befana would soon be there!

La Befana is celebrated throughout all of Italy - but she lives right here in town - in Urbania! Every 2nd - 6th of January Urbania comes alive with the magic of la befana - the streets are filled with eager children of every age waiting to catch a glimpse!

Her name derives from the Feast of Epiphany and she is a good witch that visits the children of Italy on the eve of 6 January to fill their socks! The lore is that she leaves candy for the good kids, coal for the bad ones and being a good housekeeper, she will sweep the floor before she leaves! Many leave out a glass of wine and a plate of food to thank her for cleaning the house!

We love this feste because everyone comes out to celebrate - the tastey vendors peddling their artisan goods - from spiced wine, aged pecorino & honey to the meats of the region; porchetta, cinghiale in all forms & prosciutto.

Late in the evening, after the band parades through town everyone gathers in the piazza to watch la befana descend from the bell tower into the crowd.

Both men & women dress as this old character and parade the streets night & day, sometimes even on stilts - its hysterical! Jason says that next year he will dress up for sure & I don't doubt it!

For all the details on the festivities, video clips & more check out the official web site for La Befana and Urbania (the offical home of La Befana)

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