La Befana, Italy’s Beloved Holiday Witch

Long after many Americans have taken down their Christmas trees and packed away the decorations, Italians continue to celebrate. The final feast is l’Epifania (Epiphany), on January 6, which commemorates the arrival of the three kings, or the Magi, who followed the...

Italy’s New Year Celebrations

In ancient times, the new year began in the Spring. In 153 B.C., the Romans moved the start of a new year to January 1 and dedicated the first month to Janus, the two-faced god who looks back toward the old year and ahead toward the new one. For six days, Romans...

Celebrating Italian Language Week—and Italian Comic Books

The  twentieth annual Week of the Italian Language in the World (October 19-25, 2020) focuses on the theme of Italian Between Word and Image: Graffiti, Illustrations, Comic Books. Italy’s rich tradition of graphic story-telling dates back for centuries, but since...