Urbania, in the province of Pesaro e Urbino, in the Marche region, hosts the National Befana Festival. Now in its 27th edition this year, it attracts thousands of visitors from all over Italy. The event, which offers lots of fun, shows and entertainment every year, is organized by Pro loco Casteldurante in collaboration with the municipal administration.
Lasting three days, from 4 to 6 January, the festival is a tribute to the famous granny who, flying on a broom, distributes gifts to good children and coal to the less good ones. This year, the program is even busier than previous ones includes activities and entertainment starting today and until January 7th.
The House of the Befana
Urbania is a picturesque village in the Marche hinterland, located among the Montefeltro hills, where, since 2016, the Casa della Befana has been located, which remains open all year round. Here, the old lady with "her shoes all broken" welcomes children who come from all over Italy, telling them fantastic stories and traditions linked to the territory and showing how coal is prepared or how it is weaved on the loom. On the days of celebration dedicated to the Befana, the historic center is illuminated with many lights, the porticoes are decorated and along the streets they are hung more than 4 thousand socks.
For the entire duration of the event there is no shortage of Befane, who liven up the streets with joy and wearing colorful costumes. The festival is also an opportunity to discover the monumental beauty of the city and taste the delicacies it offers: crostoli, pancakes, typical desserts.
The longest sock in the world and the scarf of love
In Urbania, among the unmissable events of these days of toys and fun, there will be, as always, the Befana prize, descent from the bell tower and the bell tower of the town hall. You can visit: the Befana Post Office, where children leave their letters; the RistoBefana, the Piazza del Gusto and the Befana Fair. This edition's fair will be larger and will welcome exhibitors of typical products, street food and crafts.
Furthermore, there will be no shortage of educational-creative workshops for children, themed competitions, shows, fire performances and street art. At the opening of the festival, as tradition dictates, the mayor of Urbania will give the keys to the city to the Befana. Not to be missed are the appointments with Longest sock in the world which gives luck to those who touch it (it is sewn in turn by the Befane of the town in a real relay) and with the Scarf of love (which envelops and protects all children and is knitted by the women of the town).
Urbania, famous for majolica
The municipality, once known by the name of Castel delle Ripe and subsequently of Casteldurante, owes its current name to Pope Urban VIII who elevated it to a city and diocese. Known throughout the world for the production of majolica (since '94 it has been recognized as an "artistic and traditional ceramic production area"), Urbania is rich in palaces and monuments.
They are worth visiting Cathedral of San Cristoforo Martire, which is the oldest church in the city, the Teatro “D. Bramante”, the ducal Barco, the Ducal Palace, today home to the Library, the Museum of Rural Civilization and the civic Museum. The latter hosts a rich collection of handcrafted majolica and an art gallery with important works of art. Visiting Urbania these days is truly a great opportunity to have fun and, at the same time, admire the beauty of the place.