La Befana: Italy’s Own Christmas Story
The story of La Befana has been an Italian classic since the thirteenth century. It is a story of a lonely old woman and her endless search for the Christ Child. For Italians, La Festa della Epifania, The Epiphany, is as significant a holiday as Christmas Day, especially for Italian children. The legend continues that on the night of January 5th, Old Befana flies on her broomstick and goes down chimneys to deliver candy (dolcetti) or lumps of coal (carbone) to deserving children.
January 6th is a national holiday and marks the end of the traditional Christmas season. It commemorates the 12th Day of Christmas when the Three Wise Men arrived at the manger bearing gifts for Baby Jesus. The traditional foods of L’Epifania represent, in some instances, regional specialties, but are, by in large the same as the preceding Christmas holidays. Our menu is a whimsical culinary nod to Italy’s most beloved witch.