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Confetti di Sulmona

Sulmona's Confetti:
gift to William and Kate

Sulmona's confetti, a typical sweet delicacy from one of Abruzzo's most beautiful towns, is renowned throughout Italy and beyond. There are various types, the most distinctive of which consist of bouquets, colorful flowers, daisies, or poppies. Moreover, each "confetto" (singular of "confetti," much like you would speak of a single "spaghetto") in a bouquet comes in different flavors, from chocolate to caramel, from apple to orange. There are also sculptures or different depictions of plants or anthropomorphic figures, custom-made for the customer, or confetti sculptures evoking popular fantasy characters from youth culture. The history of confetti is ancient; its modern production dates back to the 15th century, and it evolved into a product of artistic craftsmanship during the same era. In addition to almonds produced in the Peligna Valley and Abruzzo, almonds from Sicily are also used, harvested in the provinces of Syracuse, notably the famous Pizzuta di Avola almond, and Ragusa. According to legends, confetti was already being produced in the Peligna Valley during the Roman conquest (1st century BC). However, certain sources indicate that a small artisan workshop emerged in the 15th century near the Santa Chiara monastery, and even the nuns dared to venture into this art. In the 20th century, Sulmona's confetti experienced a period of significant economic development, with the construction of many factories (including some from the 19th century), the most famous of which is the Pelino factory. Colors Specific colors are used for confetti given as gifts on special occasions. White confetti is naturally given at weddings, pink for birth and the first wedding anniversary, light blue for baptism and first communion, red for graduations, and green for a bronze wedding anniversary. In the historical center of Sulmona, various confetti shops can be found, with the most well-known and oldest being the "Mario Pelino" shop, followed by "Di Carlo," "L'Unica" (1932), and "Panfilo Rapone." The almonds are coated with a syrup of white or colored sugar and rolled in copper basins until the sugar layer is complete. After drying with warm air, the water evaporates, leaving a uniform sugar coating on the almond's core. Sulmona's confetti are not prepared using flour and starch, and the uniqueness lies in the quality of the almond itself and in the outer coating, which is "polished" in the final phase. The treatment is like that of a true work of art, as a painter or sculptor would say... William & Kate At the wedding of the British heir to the throne, William, and Kate Middleton, the Pelino factory sent a special box of confetti as a wedding gift. Starting from the 1960s, with the rise of industrial production, the old factory in Introdacqua was closed in favor of a new building in a more strategic location. However, local policies managed to preserve the tradition, along with the descendants of Pelino, allowing the historic factory not only to remain operational but also to open a museum filled with objects and videos that tell an engaging history. Founded in 1988 and recognized as a national monument in 1992, this museum - a unique example among material culture museums - is housed on two floors of the beautiful Art Nouveau building of the Mario Pelino confetti factory. It illustrates and summarizes the history of local confectionery production through interesting and rare historical artifacts displayed in three exhibition spaces: administrative management instruments, old machinery, equipment and tools, a rich collection of gifts, quotations, diplomas, and recognitions. Overall, it's a tribute to the confectionery masters who, since the late Middle Ages, have brought the artisanal production that made Sulmona world-famous. A highlight of the museum is the suggestive reconstruction of an 18th-century workshop with machines used for the production and processing of sweets (copper pans), tools (a sieve, a wire cutting machine, a peeling machine, a polishing machine, several mills, mortars, multiple filters for sugar syrup), and various glass jars with the old ingredients that form the core or the covering of the candy. Info Address: Via Stazione Introdacqua 55, Sulmona. Contact:, tel 0864 210047 Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM and from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

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