Viva La Befana! The visit of the friendly witch La Befana is celebrated on Epiphany Eve (January 6) throughout Italy. La Befana is recognized because of her broomstick, shawl, and sack filled with sweets and gifts for children. Legend is that she originally set out to meet the Baby Jesus, but never found her way to Bethlehem.
To this day, in an attempt to catch up with the Wise Men, on the eve of Epiphany, she stops at every home, leaving sweets and gifts for well-behaved children in stockings that they’ve hung in their windows. Naughty children are left coal. My cousin Sabrina received a bounty of what Americans fall stocking suffers. On display are antique and modern Befanas.