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The absolutely true story of La Befana

Paolo Mazzucato's picture
by Paolo Mazzucato  US United States

November 20, 2021   |    504 reads    |   0 comments

Average: 5 (1 vote)

The absolutely true story of La Befana by Paolo Mazzucato. Traditional Italian Christmas tale. Book coverThere are plenty of Christmas stories about the jolly, old man in red who visits every December, but what about January 5th?

Part rumor, part folklore and part magical invention, the classic origin story of the Italian Befana and her Christmas Epiphany visit to all children, naughty and nice, is presented here in a colorfully illustrated storybook. Told from an...unusual point of view, myth meets reality as we learn how things "actually" happened that fateful night when three wise guys, or...wise men, came searching for a newborn baby king and got a warm bowl of homemade minestrone instead.

When a knock at the door, late one wintry evening, disturbs an old woman just sitting down to dinner, she's none too happy about it. So, after inviting the three travelers in for a hearty meal (as all good Italian nonnas would do), she sends them on their way. But when a bright star overhead wakes her later that night, she realizes that her chance to be part of a greater story of hope in the world is disappearing fast (like slices of freshly-baked panettone at Christmas dinner). Only her own journey that night to deliver her gifts and treats helps her see that the hope for a better world of peace and love lives in every child.

A playful reimagining of a traditional, Italian tale, told through warmth, humor and a few delicious, Italian recipes.

Author's Note: 

The story of La Befana is a traditional Italian tale. The main character is sometimes referred to as the Italian, Christmas witch, but in my reimagining of the story, she is more of a kindly, old grandmother who, like all Italian nonnas, wants to see everyone well fed and taken care of. That's the way it should be, eh?

*(this book is published in both English and an Italian language edition)


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