The blur of the holiday season may seem to be fading into the background, but the Italian celebrations continue for one more day- La Epifania.
The Epiphany takes place on 6 January (the 12th day of Christmas), and is a national holiday in Italy. While Babbo Natale has the 25th of December covered, the real star of the season is La Befana, who visits on the night of January 5th.
After hitting up the Italian Christmas markets, with all your gifts wrapped and Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) on his way, it is time to settle in and celebrate Christmas like an Italian.
1. Take in the lights | During Christmas, the concept of bella figura extends to cities and streets as well. It is all about image, beauty and presentation. Head out on foot to experience the twinkling lights, and never say no to roasted chestnuts and mulled wine along the way.
2. Set up il Presepio | While Christmas trees are gaining in popularity, most Italian homes still set up a presepio, or manger scene. All of the usual cast of characters are included, but to really deck out your holiday set up, you can opt for optional figurines like pizzaioli (pizzamakers) and tiny casks of wine (of course) to fill out the scene around Mary and Joseph. (more…)
Italy is a beautiful place to visit this time of year, when everything is lit up and the streets are bustling with shoppers visiting their local outdoor Christmas markets. Famous for artisan holiday decorations, scopine scacciaguai (brooms said to rid you of bad luck) and amusements for children, these markets are an essential part of Italian life in the winter.
One of the most well known Italian Christmas markets is located at the Piazza Navona in Rome. Famous year round for its Fountain of the Four Rivers, the piazza sets a perfect scene for holiday festivities. But you don’t have to live in Italy to experience the magic of an outdoor Christmas market; read below to find out where you can visit one a little closer to home.