Or, what do sugared almonds and George Clooney have in common?
Sulmona in Abruzzo, Italy has been a manufacturer of the traditional sugared almond for centuries. Officially called confetti, one of its oldest confectioners, Confetti Mario Pelino, was established in 1783. The company has been called upon to grace many wedding table from celebrities to royalty.
When gifted to guests at wedding ceremonies, they typically come in groups of 5 – each one representing the best of health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity for the bride and groom. More elaborate examples show off the almonds as bouquets.
The sugared coating of the almond was added to diffuse the nut’s bitter taste – the creators poking fun at the institution of marriage. In Italy, confetti is not only used at weddings, but also engagements, christenings, anniversaries and graduations. And not only are almonds used. Other fillings such as chocolate, marzipan, seeds and pistachios can also be sugar coated.
The hilltop town of Sulmona is isolated. Those seeking a place of relaxation and digital detox may well want to consider it. The benefits you reap is a restorative sojourn by way of the Italian love of life.
This isolation made it a perfect locale for scenes from George Clooney’s The American. Clooney plays a solemn and detached character trying to escape a violent history. It’s a dark world full of dangerous people who don’t like radical change. He believes their promises to loosen the noose around his neck ever so reluctantly. It’s all he has to hold on to; that and the love of a woman who he is also unsure to trust.
It’s a quiet film, a slow burner; the remoteness only adds to the anticipation that there’s so much more happening in the shadows.
What to do
The terrain in Sulmona makes it a favourite for hikers and those after active holidays. Visit Stuart Haines’ site that lists all manner of guides for walks through the Sulmona Valley.
Stuart recommends: “The Sulmona Valley, or Valle Peligna, is a wonderful place to experience the spectacular Abruzzo countryside on foot. From gentle family ambles to serious mountain hikes – they are all here, waiting for you to discover!”
Where to stay
Stuart recommends the tranquil setting of Casa La Rocca that sits in the Sulmona Valley.