Anne's Blog

In January, Le Pasquarelle Warm Up Cascia

Date: January 21, 2019 - categories: , , , , , , , - 2 Comments

On the week-end after the feast of  the beloved St. Anthony Abbot (January 17th), the blessings of the animals takes place all over Italy.  Many a medieval hilltown fetes Sant’Antonio for days after with a string of folkloristic events. Like those in S. Maria degli Angeli near Assisi.

A few years ago, we were in Cascia for their late January events.

This year, we returned to this medieval mountain town for the singing competition of le pasquarelle, rural songs announcing the Birth of Christ, the arrival of the Magi and bringing good wishes for health and prosperity in the New Year.

Over twenty groups of singers of le pasquarelle – called “pasquellari” – from all over central Italy had gathered in Cascia for the event. Even before the competition started, groups of pasquellari were playing here and there, warming up:


Other pasquellari were sharing espressi before heading to the stage:

….and on stage, with what passione the organetto musicians  (young ones, too!) played and children of all ages and adults joined in song:


And what joy to see the passionate interaction of all ages, teens with the little ones, the elderly flanked by the younger set:

….and that six-year-old Edoardo is a whiz on the organetto, playing by ear:

Many of the musicians  were in costume: the Blessed Virgin Mary sang in a couple groups, as did caped shepherds, many with the typical sheep’s wool leggings over their pants and sheep’s wool hats as part of their costume.   In some groups, the Magi  in elegant robes belted out le pastorelle.


Some groups performed il saltarello  or other Umbria folk dances before or during the singing:

Befana (linguistically rooted in “epifania“) –  the good witch who fills the stockings of children on January 5th (the vigil of her day) – joined many a pasquarella group:

The music filled the Cascia piazza as we headed home, wondering which group the jury would choose as winner.

Not a surprise to learn the next day that it was one of our favorites, a talented group from Corese Terra near Rieti (Latium)….

…and the first pasquellari we’d heard playing that afternoon in Cascia!

Alas, I took no videos at the pasquarelle competition but you can see – and hear!  – the winners during a past Cascia competition if you simply click here.

They’ve competed in Cascia for twenty-five years.  I wonder if they’ll be back next year. We certainly will.

Click here to see another group of pasquellari 

Read about good eating at this memorable Cascia festival

Enjoy the pasquerella songs here

Read about other Cascia pleasures here

Read about Peppa, Sant’Antonio, and il malocchio

Click here for Cascia pasquellara passione


  • Mary Cappiello says:

    What I love about your articles on the celebrations that take place year after year is seeing, through your photos, how much the townspeople get into them, ie., the costumes, the music, the throngs of people celebrating together. It’s moving and magical to see.

  • Mary, wish you and Matt could join us next year for the good times…and SI! the “passione” of the locals at such festivals always astounds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Privacy Policy

Privacy Italian Legislative Decree n° 196/2003 Under Article 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, regulations with regard to the Protection of Personal Data, this is an informative report to all interested parties on the modality of the treatment of personal data, arising from interaction with our website
THE PRINCIPAL FOR DATA TREATMENT During site consultation, personal data referring to identified or identifiable persons can be processed. The principal for data treatment is Anne Robichaud Pian della Pieve Assisi 06081 (PG) Italy. The data will be mainly processed at the mentioned head office by the people responsible for the website or by other people appointed for occasional maintenance operations, provided that their actions conform to of the guarantees enshrined in the Legislative Decree 196/2003.
Web navigation The information systems and software procedures required for the functioning of this website, acquire some personal data during their normal service, the transmission of which is implicit in the use of web communication protocols. This information is not collected with the purpose of identifying interested parties, but due to its very nature, the information could lead to user identification through processes and relations with data held by third parties. In this data category there are IP addresses or domain names belonging to computers used by users who connect to the site, addresses with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) notification of the requested resources, time of the request, used method in submitting the request to the server, dimension of the file obtained in replying, the numeric code mentioning the reply status given by the server (successful reply, error, etc?) and other parameters referred to the operation system and to the user’s information environment. This data is used with the sole purpose of obtaining anonymous statistical information on the use of the site and to check the correct functioning; immediately after processing, the data is erased.
Data voluntarily supplied by the user The voluntary optional and explicit e-mail transmission to the addresses mentioned in this site implies the subsequent acquisition of the sender’s address, necessary to reply to the queries, as well as the other eventual personal data registered in the message.
OPTIONAL PERSONAL DATA SUPPLY Except for the above mentioned navigation data, the user may be asked to supply his own personal data through queries or messages to the email addresses shown in the contact pages. Failure to provide such data may be the cause of the inability to obtain the requested information from the company.
TREATMENT MODALITY The personal data is treated in compliance with the Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and held only for the time necessary to achieve the aim for which it has been collected. Specific safety measures are taken to prevent any data loss, illicit or incorrect use and unauthorized access.
RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES The data subjects are at any time entitled to obtain confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are held, to know the contents and the origin, to check the correctness, to ask for integration, updating or change (art. 7 Decree Law 196:June 2003). In accordance with the same article, they are entitled to obtain the erasure, conversion into anonymous form or freezing of all data used in breach of the law, to object, on legitimate grounds, to the processing of data relating to him. All requests have to be transmitted to the e-mail address

Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)