Christmas used to be all about Twelfth Night in Italy, or as they call it here ‘La Befana’. Nowadays it’s more about Christmas Day itself and St Stephen’s Day on the day after, but La Befana is still celebrated countrywide.
It just so happens that we live not far away from the home of Befana – a small town called Urbania, not far from Urbino. There is a huge festival there every January 2nd – 6th and it celebrates all things Befana.
Legend has it that La Befana is an old lady, somewhat like a witch, who come down the chimney on the night of Epiphany and delivers sweets to good children and coal or sticks to children who’ve been bad (though these days it’s usually just a sweetie that’s been made to look like coal!)
At the festival there are loads of things for kids to do, like plays and dressing up. There are also lots of stalls selling local produce and the crafts of local artisans and of course no Italian festa would be complete without lots to eat!