The end of these long Christmas holidays, that for many started on December 20, is about to arrive.
Tomorrow, January 6, is the Epiphany (Befana in Italian), a major religious holiday that used to be very important for all Italian families in the past. This year’s anticipated winter sales, with the opportunity of buying cheaper presents, gave it a chance to become again very popular.
But since it is essentially a religious feast we will go straight to the Vatican as the 30th edition of Rome’s traditional historical parade departs from St. Peter’s square at 10:30am. This Epiphany, about 1500 figures wearing beautiful historic costumes and accompanied by horses from Southern Lazio (the Roman southern countryside) will follow the Three Kings.
Another must in Rome during the Epiphany are the Piazza Navona day-long celebrations. Shows for kids and games kick off at 10am, the living Nativity will be inside the Palazzo Braschi yard (abutting the square) from 11:30 to 6pm. A choir will perform at 1pm, while the Roma Fringe Festival crew will please children from 4:30pm. Around 5:30pm the Three Kings and their procession will start to parade in the square.
This year’s development is the Epiphany tram. The old 907 coach will take you from Porta Maggiore to Piazza Risorgimento (next to the Vatican) tomorrow and only tomorrow.
Rome’s beautiful zoo has a special Befana activities for kids on the 6th as already reported in one of our latest stories.
If you prefer a show the ExtraTeatro-Extraordinary Theatre crew has a bilingual (English and Italian) performance for your children. More details here.
But the end of the Season Holidays also represents a good occasion to have the final big meal of Christmas time. And a brunch is a perfect opportunity to satisfy all your residual food desires. Here’s a very comprehensive list of restaurants in Rome offering special brunch deals for Befana.
Ethnic music buffs will enjoy the Misa Criolla, i.e. the combination of Spanish language text with indigenous instruments and rhythms, that will unfold at 3pm in the downtown church of SS. Andrea and Claudio dei Borgognoni.
Because of the Epiphany association with the three Kings you may also want to enjoy a Coronation Mass at 9pm in the central church of S. Lorenzo in Panisperna. Music by Mozart, of course. Two choirs and Rome’s International Orchestra to perform.
The Lazy Duke Jazz Band will liven up your Befana with their Jazzing Christmas concert at 6:45 in the downtown Baldini Hall.
Last, because it is not an Epiphany-related event, but not least because it takes place on January 6 only, is the lights show by Rome’s Energy Company ACEA, at 5pm in Piazza del Popolo.