Celebrate the Epiphany Feast in Florence: a Guide to Traditions and Activities Tours

find your tour

Epiphany feast florence

The Epiphany Feast is celebrated each year on January 6th and it marks the ending of the Christmas Holidays and the official beginning of the new working year in Italy. After this day Christmas decorations are typically taken down but before this happens, it’s still time to celebrate this joyous day! Visiting the city of Florence during the Epiphany feast and, more generally, throughout the Christmas Holidays, is a great way to get to know something more about the beauty and the cultural traditions of this incredible city. Did you know for instance that every year on the Epiphany feast an ancient Steam train, commonly known as “Il Treno della Befana” takes off from Florence to San Piero a Sieve?

Let’s find out something more about the Epiphany feast in general and how it’s celebrated in Italy and why you should consider spending this day in Florence!

The History of the Epiphany Feast 

The Epiphany Feast actually has a religious aspect as it commemorates the arrival of the Three Kings named Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar to the cave where baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Christians usually go to Church on this day because it is believed that the Epiphany feast actually symbolizes the revelation of God as Jesus Christ to human-kind.

The Epiphany Feast Today

Even though the religious aspects behind this Holiday obviously remain intact, the Epiphany feast is celebrated a little differently nowadays and it’s mainly known for its main character: la Befana. A little like Santa Klaus, the Befana is a beloved but ugly witch that hops on her broomstick on the night between January 5th and January 6th to bring kids all over Italy sweet treats or coal to the kids that were naughty throughout the year! These sweet treats are typically placed in a Christmas stocking that kids leave hanging on their chimney or on their bedroom door handle before going to bed to wake up in the morning with a stocking full of candies!

Experiencing the Epiphany in the Heart of Florence

If you’re thinking of spending the Epiphany feast in Florence, you’re definitely making a great choice. During the Holidays, the city of Florence fills up with incredible Christmas lights and decorations, creating a magical and welcoming atmosphere. On this day, many different activities are hosted in the city of Florence for you to have fun. Here’s a list of some of the most beautiful things you can experience on this day:

  • THE MASS IN THE SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE CATHEDRAL: If you’re a Christian and you’re spending the Epiphany feast in Florence, you can’t miss out on attending the mass in the most beautiful Church in the city! Just make sure you get there early enough because it will be quite crowded;
  • CHRISTMAS MARKETS: As mentioned before, the city of Florence fills with a festive atmosphere throughout the Holidays and beautiful Christmas Markets in the most popular squares like San Lorenzo or Piazza di Santa Croce, where you will be able to buy great souvenirs!
  • CAVALCATA DEI MAGI: The Cavalcade of the Magi is a Christian religious tradition that recreates the journey and arrival of the Three Kings to baby Jesus’ crib and it takes place every year on January 6th in Florence. The Cavalcade typically starts in Piazza Pitti at 02:00 PM and it will take you on a Journey to explore some of the most suggestive areas of Florence;
  • THE STEAM TRAIN, IL TRENO DELLA BEFANA: Commonly known in Florence as Il Treno della Befana, every year on January 6th a steam train takes off from the Santa Maria Novella Station in Florence to get to San Piero a Sieve. Seeing the train take off is a particularly beloved tradition by families, especially those with young children;


Visiting the city of Florence during the Epiphany feast will definitely leave you happy and surprised. The beauty of this town during the holidays and the magical atmosphere that you will be able to breathe will surely make for a magical experience for you and your loved ones. If you want to get to know more about Florence, we highly suggest checking out our other blogs and consider booking a tour of the city with us!