The town dates back to before the Roman Empire, but it was the era of the Roman Empire in which Sulmona boasted its most famous resident: Publio Ovidio Nasone, best known by most school children as Ovid, the author of the Metamorphosis.
Ovid was born in Sulmona in 43 B.C. and he achieved great success during his lifetime, until his criticism angered Emperor Augustus, who banished the poet to the outer reaches of teh Empire, in modern-day Romania.
In his verses, Ovid wrote about his hometown: “Sulmo mihi patria est, gelidis uberrimus undis, milia qui novies distat ab Vrbe decem” (Sulmona is my homeland, rich with cool waters, located a distance of 90 miles from Rome.)
When we were visiting in July, there was an annual medieval ‘palio-type’ competition taking place in town. the backdrop was certainly perfect for it!
One of the more modern-day traditions can be found out in colorful display all over the streets of Sulmona, the candy-covered almond candies – confetti – that are traditionally eaten at Italian weddings and christenings come from Sulmona.
There are shops everywhere and you can buy them crafted into colorful flowers and designs.
For more ideas of what to see in Abruzzo, see my earlier posts on visiting medieval Pescostanzo, summertime in mountaintop Ovindoli or winter in Ovindoli . And if you’d like to read one of my published short stories, set in Abruzzo and entitled Abandoned Towers, you can download it free here. Happy visiting, eating and reading in Abruzzo!