i forgot to write about the befana on january 6th. the befana is one of my favorite things about italy.
she's a fabulous old woman, not exactly a witch, who rides around on a broom and brings children presents on the day of the epiphany, which is january 6th. in italy, kids don't really get presents on christmas. instead, they leave out the biggest, most worn out socks they can find on the night of the 5th, along with a glass of wine and a plate with some delicious leftovers, and hope that she'll come fill them with candies, oranges and gifts (and not lumps of coal).
because she's extremely polite, she'll sweep your floor on her way out with your broom, too.