by Melinda Gallo

La Befana non č arrivata

Today is the Epifania (Epiphany), which is the last holiday of the Christmas season and finally signals the beginning of the New Year (which will be Monday). Last night, supposedly a very old and scary looking witch, named La Befana, came by each of the children's house on her broomstick to fill up their stockings with either candy or carbone (coal) depending if they were nice or naughty.

Living in Florence :: La Befana non č arrivata

I saw the sign at the small giardino (garden) next to our house where many children in the neighborhood play while the adults sit on benches chatting. For the first time, I decided to go into the giardino to see La Befana who was scheduled to come at 3:30PM. Without a cloud in the sky, I was hoping to sit on a bench in the sun while I waited. Unfortunately, there was no sun to be had. By the time I arrived, the sun was already behind the buildings.

I arrived a little late around 3:35PM, but no Befana to be seen. I walked down to Piazza dei Ciompi where they were holding an antiques fair. On holidays when almost all of the shops are closed, any open market is generally packed with people mulling around. Most were casually glancing at the booths while talking among themselves.

I walked back to the giardino at about 3:45PM and still no Befana. I sat down in the shade alone on one of the benches away from the crowd of people near the play ground area.

I sat for a few minutes, but it got too cold for me. At 4:20PM, I left and took a picture of the poster of the Befana and the entrance of the giardino. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the Befana, but maybe I'll have to wait until next year.

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