Recurrences Annual

Celebrate Epiphany in Tuscany

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Luogo:Firenze (FI)



Epiphany in Tuscany, as in the rest of Italy, is an important holiday that can be celebrated in a variety of traditional ways, and as the saying goes, “all holidays are taken away!”

It is first and foremost a Christian holiday, serving to celebrate “the revelation of Jesus as God,” and is about the adoration of the Wise Men. But in Italy epiphany is also associated with a popular figure, little known in the rest of the world, which has its roots in the pagan propitiatory rites associated with the winter solstice,: the Befana, the little old woman who “comes at night with her shoes all broken!”

What links it to the Christian tradition is precisely the legend that the Three Kings, in addition to the Star of the Comet, followed the directions of an old woman, who first refused to follow them, while then set out with a basket of sweets and stopping to knock on every door in search of Jesus, gave them to the children she met. Legend has it that it is from that time that the Befana goes all over the world in search of Jesus, giving sweets to good children and coal to those who were not, stuffing her gifts into hanging stockings.

Epiphany in Tuscany: many events to discover

For the celebration of Epiphany in Tuscany, there are themed events and initiatives, with living nativity scenes, snacks in the squares, historical processions and other bizarre events, and we want to tell you about some of them:

Cavalcade of the Three Kings

Perhaps the most well-known event in Florence to celebrate the day of the Epiphany is the historical re-enactment of the Cavalcade of the Magi, organized by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. The procession, with over 700 participants, is led by the Three Kings, dressed in sumptuous silk dresses inspired by those in Benozzo Gozzoli’s fresco. After departing from Piazza Pitti at 2 p.m., the procession will wind its way through the streets of downtown Florence until it arrives in Piazza Duomo at 3:30 p.m.

Living nativity scenes

Passionate viewers of the Nativity can go to admire the various living nativity plays scattered throughout Tuscany. Usually, many places set up stations, with attention to every detail, which are the setting for the re-enactments of Christmas scenes and, therefore, of the Epiphany. San Piero a Grado, San Miniato Basso, Pescia, Badia San Savino, Castelfranco di Sopra: these are just some of the villages that, on January 6, see the Three Kings parade, accompanied by children and figurants who reenact village life with markets and ancient crafts.

The Epiphany Train

In San Piero a Sieve the Befana arrives as usual aboard an old steam train. In fact, the historic locomotive departs from Florence Santa Maria Novella station in the morning and takes passengers to enjoy the flavors and initiatives of Mugello. Upon arrival, the children are given a special snack and a stocking full of sweets by the Befana herself. This is also one of the most anticipated Epiphany events in Tuscany during the winter season by young and old alike!

Epiphany dive

The Befana Dive, one of the most original initiatives that has become a must-do” over the years, is scheduled for the morning of Jan. 6 on the beach in Marina di Pisa. Hundreds of participants gather on the Pisan shoreline to brave the frost and take a dip in the sea. Don’t worry: generally a good hot chocolate is offered after this test of courage!


06 January 25

06 January 25


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Santa Maria del Fiore, Piazza del Duomo, Firenze, FI, Italia

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