The Sant’Antonio Abate church is located near Duomo in via Sant’Antonio. Here a hospital was built in 1127 by the religious order named Antoniani di Vienne and a cetury later a convent and a small church were built, the church was restored in 1456 and in 1582, when it became the seat of another religious order, Chierici regolari Teatini. The façade overlooking via Sant’Antonio dates back to 1832 and was designed, thanks to the donations of surgeon Giovanni Battista Paletta, by Giacomo Giuseppe Tazzini.
The inner structure dates back to the 16th even though it underwent changes made by Righini, who turned it into a sumptuous Baroque-style church. The Sant’Antonio Abate church is renowned for its frescoes: since the dark background with lightnings prevails all over the ceiling, we recommend visiting the church on sunny days. There are frescoes and paintings by Camillo Procaccini, Bernardino Campi, Francesco del Cairo, Figino and Moncalvo. Inside the second chapel on the left there’s a fresco cycle depicting the life of the Virgin by Giulio Cesare Procaccini.
Beside the church there’s the cloyster of Sant’Antonio, which dates back to the 16th century, and the Gothic bell tower built at the time of the original church, topped by a Greek T-shaped cross, the symbol of the Antoniani religious order. The hospital located beside the church was used to cure those who had shingles or herpes zoster. The cure they applied was an ointment made with pig’s fat. With the virus’ spread, the monks started to breed pigs, so the hospital was nicknamed Hospitale Porcorum (pigs’ hospital).