The Befanata is an ancient song. Traditionally the men and women would go from house to house on January 5 singing it in return for food and gifts, a little like the carollers we associate with Christmas.
Then on the evening of the January 6, the entire town would get together for a big festival and sing, dance and share poems to celebrate the Befana, the genial witch who brought sweets and little toys to Italy’s children long before they had ever heard of Santa Claus.
Befana festivals are held in almost every Maremman town. They usually involve food, music and a couple of locals who dress the part of the Befana and her husband to partake in a traditional dance.
In recent years, Grosseto’s Maremma Che Befana festival has become quite popular. The event features songs from local folk groups, games, entertainment for the little ones, artisan stalls and their antique crafts and hot chocolate.
Discover the undiscovered Tuscany like a local with the only English language guidebook. Pick up a copy in print or as a PDF, ePub & mobi and get gorgeous photos, insider tips, restaurant and accommodation guides and info on all the main attractions. Buy a copy here.