Lu Sand’Andonje
What to do

Winter’s most beautiful celebration The Saint and the Devil, a story that seems to
have it all. But there is also a swine, not as a symbol of profanity, but rather, according to the tradition, one of the animals that accompanied Saint Antonio Abate, a saint whom the people of Abruzzo are very devoted to and celebrate on
he 17th of January. Abruzzo boasts a very long tradition in the rituals of slaughtering this, one of the most popular animals and one that is home-bred and cherished so as to make it even more delicious when cooked. For more than twenty years, this celebration, not to be missed, takes place every year from the 16th to the 18th of January in Cermignano: “Lu Sand’Andonje”. While it honours its Saint, it also primarily honours the animals that the Saint protects. For three
days, in the Valle delle Abbazie, with its solemn tower of Montegualtieri, the city celebrates the abundance of good food following the “ lu ccite de lu porche”, that is, the slaughtering of the swine. Meat sausages, liver sausages and cotechino, watered down with a good Montonico wine, are offered to the “ li sandandonjire”, the persons that go from house to house collecting offerings and
celebrating the victory of the Saint over the Devil. Thanks to its cultural association “Lu sand’Andonje”, and its Festival of songs”, Cermignano has become a point of reference in the study of ethnomusicology; a tradition that recalls the stories of the Middle Ages’ festive companies that would bring their popular theatre from village to village. This classic iconography has also inspired another delicacy, one typical of Teramo, the “ li cillitt’ di Sand’Andonije (literally the “ little birds of Saint Antonio”), a bird-shaped pastry
usually filled with jam, chopped dark chocolate, chopped toasted almonds, grated lemon rind, a little bit of coffee and a pinch of powdered cinnamon and sugar. Perfect pairing with “vino cotto” (cooked wine).