We headed out early today, to find the Blessing of the Animals, held to celebrate San Antonio Abate, patron saint of animals.
Kate and I are holding a blogging event this weekend. Celebrating the Pig!
San Antonio is always pictured with a small pig at his feet, and often other barnyard animals near by.
The closest village I found near my house was outside of Florence in a small town called Poggio a Caino, near Carmignano,a fabulous wine producing area.
We knew we were close as we we driving in as we saw several people on horseback.
Horseback riding is quite popular here in Italy, riding English has always been the prefered to teach, but lately Western is making it's way in!
Tuscany even has it cowboys, down in Maremma in southern Tuscany.
My cousins competed in the Grand National Rodeo's so it was fun to see Tuscan cowboys.
The festival was quite large, consisting or a large street market, antique fair and Rodeo!
Animals were everywhere, of course dogs.. on leashes, Cat's in cat carriers, birds in cages,and I even saw one dad with Goldfish.
The only pigs we saw ..and smelled.. were on the grill!
A huge food tent was set up and the locals were selling food to raise money for the town charities.
Pork ribs, sausages were being grilled and there were plates of crostini, soups and a local specialty, Migliaccio, a thin crepe made from fresh pigs blood, cocoa, lemon rind and eggs.
Ok, it may not sound appealing, but was wonderful.
We had one served with grated parmesan cheese, and one with sugar.
I adored the one with sugar as it brought out the lemon rind in the crepe.
There is another local salami, burista made with the blood and sweet cookies crumbled in it, very Renaissance flavors, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, as in Panforte.
here are some of the Pets!
a dad with his two kids, dog and goldfish!
This Dog got second looks all day!
was by the horses and cowboys!
The Priest used his Microphone to bless the animals and their owners, and a blessed Bread was also for sale to take home.
I read that a piece was also given to your animals!( I guess that is how pigs get blessed, but all my neighbors have already got their Prosciutto under salt!
I guess they don't have to share!