Sant'Antonio Abate (Saint Anthony Abbot), Patron Saint of the animals and the work of the farmer, is a saint to whom the population of the Valnerina (Nera Valley) is very devout, celebrating since ancient times. The day dedicated to him is January 17th, and for the 2012, in no particular order:
- in Cascia (PG) the Feast of St. Anthony is inserted within the fourth edition of "Tradizione, che Passione!" ("Tradition, what a Passion!"). 2 Masses and the 'asta delle agnelle' (auction of the ewe lambs);
- in Norcia (PG), at the Benedictine nuns Monastery of St. Anthony, Mass and blessing of the animals, salt and wheat. After that, Parade of shepherds for the city and auction of lambs. For info: Municipality of Norcia, tel. +39 0743.824911;
- in Monteleone di Spoleto (PG) the lumbermen, after bless their pack animals like donkeys, mules and horses, leaving to the parson their load of wood, which will be used to heat the parsonage during the long winter;
- in Preci (PG) the celebrations take place during the afternoon, at the Caritas center. Mass at 15:00, followed by blessing of the animals and a buffet in the square opposite the Caritas center;
- in Scheggino (PG), after Mass, on the Church Plaza in front of the Church of St. Nicola or in the main square, the Parson of the small town blesses all the animals which are accompanied by their respective owners. Typically follows a small buffet or aperitif offered to all present by the Santesi (organizers of the event) in the Aretta of St. Antonio. Following a lunch at a local restaurant where traditionally only men participate, and in this occasion there will be the election of the Santesi who have the task of organizing the festival the following year. For more info: Municipality of Scheggino, tel. +39 0743613232.