The Italian days of Giorni della Merla

Italy, a country steeped in rich culture and captivating traditions, harbors a lesser-known yet fascinating custom: the Giorni della Merla. Translating to “the days of the blackbird,” this tradition carries a historical and meteorological essence that continues to intrigue locals and visitors alike.

The Tale Behind Giorni della Merla

Rooted in folklore, Giorni della Merla is observed from January 29th to 31st. Legend has it that three blackbirds—Merla, Corina, and Cóla—lived happily until the biting cold of winter arrived. Seeking warmth and shelter, they pleaded with St. Peter for respite. Moved by their plight, St. Peter granted them three days of milder weather. These days marked the Giorni della Merla, symbolizing hope amidst winter’s harshness.

The Meteorological Significance

This tradition intertwines with meteorological observations, as these dates historically coincide with a period of relative warmth during Italy’s winter season. Locals anticipate these days, hoping for a respite from the chilly weather, sometimes referred to as the “false spring” phenomenon.

Celebrating Giorni della Merla

Italian communities embrace this tradition with unique customs. Families gather to share warm meals, often indulging in hearty dishes like ribollita or polenta. Some regions even hold festive events, featuring music, storytelling, and culinary delights, fostering a sense of togetherness and warmth during the winter’s grasp.

Giorni della Merla in Modern Italy

In contemporary times, the tradition continues to thrive, albeit with adaptations to urban life. While the weather’s prediction is more precise, the cultural significance remains intact. Italians honor this tradition by acknowledging the folklore and cherishing the fleeting warmth amidst the winter chill.

Exploring the Symbolism

Beyond its meteorological connotations, Giorni della Merla symbolizes resilience and optimism in the face of adversity. It serves as a reminder that even in the bleakest of times, hope and warmth can prevail, fostering a sense of community and unity.


The Giorni della Merla tradition, with its blend of folklore, meteorology, and cultural significance, captivates the imagination. As we delve deeper into Italy’s diverse tapestry of customs, this tradition stands out as a testament to resilience and the enduring human spirit.

Intrigued by Italy’s Giorni della Merla? Explore its history, customs, and symbolism to immerse yourself in this captivating tradition, offering warmth and hope amidst winter’s embrace.