Monday, January 5, 2015

Fun Things Happening in January

“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy New Year!  I'm back home with my batteries re-charged, ready to share many more tips with you!  If you are coming to Italy this January, there are a couple of reasons to smile a big smile for choosing the beginning of the year for your trip.

First of all, the amount of tourists this time of the year is at its yearly minimum.  So you will have a lot less crowds to fight at the sights you've been waiting to see.  Also, you will still catch some of the holiday cheer since the holidays here don't end up until after January sixth.

And January 6th is a date to remember here in #Rome.  It's the celebration of the "Befana".  My first year in Italy I took a stroll in one of the most renown piazzas (squares) of Rome, Piazza Navona.  There, a Christmas market has been setting up every year for as long as the city cares to remember.  They sell all kinds of pieces for your Nativity Set and an array of goodies related to the Holidays.  During my first visit to Piazza Navona, I noticed something that was out our place in the vendors' carts.  A witch was adorning every stall at the piazza.  In my brain "witch=halloween", but what was she doing being around during Christmas time?  So I asked, and I learned.  It is not a witch, but the #BEFANA.  The Befana is an old lady who leaves candy for the kids in an old stocking on January sixth.  Ahhhh, I said, and that very same second, my kids demanded we celebrated the day of the Befana every year.  Of course, who can resist candy?!  Any reason is a good reason to get candy!

Today, the day before the Befana day, I went to the store to get "coal" for my boys; yes, the Befana brings candy to the kids who've been good all year and "coal" to the ones that have misbehaved.  Of course, nowadays the stores and pastry shops make coal-candy to be given out to the naughty kids, including mine ;)

The kids' stockings are filled, but what about the moms'?  Don't worry, January is the month of the SALDI, for the adults.  What does SALDI mean?  Sales!!  Yes, after the Christmas rush, Rome and many other parts of Europe are in Sale Time!  Here sales don't happen every weekend or every holiday.  They are found after January sixth and after the summer vacation; only twice a year the merchandise is on sale and the sales only apply to the items from the season that's coming to an end.  So make a side note in your budget and allocate some cash to the SALDI.  Leather goods, cashmere, you name it, it's all on SALDI!

If you are in Rome this January don't forget to celebrate the Befana and take advantage of the SALDI!

Arrivederci for now,

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