La Befana Comes to Florence

Much like Santa, the elderly Italian witch, La Befana, who fills the stockings of children on the night of January 5, has the power of appearing simultaneously in different places.  This is true in Florence on Epiphany, January 6, which is simultaneously the feast of the Three Kings and La Befana.  She will continue her generosity to children all day in the city of the Renaissance.

Here are her scheduled appearances:

Vintage cars will be driven from the Cascine Park to Piazza della Repubblica accompanied by traffic cops (vigili urbani) in historical uniform starting at 10:30 am.  Once the cars arrive in the square, La Befana will distributing gifts to kids in addition to visiting young patients at the Meyer Pediatric Hospital with a bag of goodies.

She will also float down the Arno River in a gondola-like Dragon Boat to the Canottieri Comunale on Lungarno Ferrucci and her helpers from LILT (the Italian Anti-Tumor Association) will offer everyone desserts, hot chocolate and mulled wine between 10 am and noon in the company of rescue dogs.  Later on, she will descend from the tower of Palazzo Vecchio to Piazza Signoria and the Loggia dei Lanzi to present sweets to children.

La Befana is also set to fly down from the sky on her broomstick in two Tuscan cities. She will land in Siena’s Piazza del Campo via the facade of Palazzo Pubblico (5:30 pm). Earlier in the day she will descend from the bell tower of the Duomo (Cathedral) in Pistoia’s Piazza del Duomo (3 pm), both times with the help of firemen.

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.