Of all of the signature treats and traditions in Abruzzo, one of the most significant that comes to mind is confetti. The sugar coated almonds that Italians proudly share at weddings, baptisms, graduations and significant family events are a symbol of celebration and good luck. The shining star of confetti production in Italy is the medieval city of Sulmona, located in the L’Aquila region of Abruzzo. Known as “la citta di confetti", Sulmona has culturally become a city that is more than just the birthplace of the Latin poet, Ovid. When visiting Sulmona, you can wander down Corso Ovidio, looking out to the well preserved medieval aqueduct, to find the street speckled with little craft shops and cafes selling an assortment of colorful bags and bouquets of confetti.
Confetti production in Sulmona is known worldwide for its unique flavor, traditional production methods and usage of Avola almonds. Of the many confetti producers based in Sulmona, the leader in confetti production is Mario Pelino’s Confetti Pelino, since 1783. The Pelino confetti are still hand-made and uniquely distinguished by their special recipe that lacks flour or other forms of starch. Not to be missed when visiting Sulmona is the Confetti Pelino Museum, displaying old-fashioned confectionery machines and equipment, memorabilia and precious, rare objects relating to the ancient Sulmonese art of confectionary.
The classic Italian bomboniere (party favor) is always filled with confetti and in an array of colors depending on the celebration. The number of confetti is also noteworthy. Typically, you will find an odd number of confetti inside of a bomboniere. Five refers to the wishes of fertility, longevity, good health, wealth, and happiness. Three symbolizes a couple and a child, and one confetto represents the uniqueness of the event.
The most quintessential souvenir from Sulmona is confetti. They are a source of Abruzzo pride that you can find at any Italian celebration around the world!