Ovid’s birthplace: Sulmona, Abruzzo

Sulmona, Abruzzo, ItalySulmona is a small town in the region of Abruzzo. It is located near one of Abruzzo’s three national parks: the National Park of the Majella.

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.

Sulmona, Abruzzo, ItalyOvid 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.)

Sulmona, Abruzzo, ItalyBut the architecture of  ‘modern’ Sulmona has its roots in medieval times, with plenty of impressive medieval palaces, churches, fountains and piazze.

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!

Sulmona, Abruzzo, ItalyOne 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!

Sulmona, Abruzzo, ItalySulmona, Abruzzo, Italy


  1. Ishita on July 5, 2016 at 8:36 am

    What a coincidence. I was reading about Abruzzo./ Yesterday I was watching Made in Italy with Silvia Culloca and then went searching on it. Love the post.

    • kimberlysullivan on July 15, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      It’s a great, somewhat unexplored, region, Ishita. Sure you’ll love it.

  2. Katy Gorman on July 5, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Ciao! We’d like to share this post and your short story as well. The white reversed out of black doesn’t work very well for us though – is the short story available anywhere else? Thanks…

    • kimberlysullivan on July 15, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks, Katy. Of course I’d be thrilled if you’d like to share my Abruzzo short story, but unfortunately it’s only published here. Sorry about that black background that I realize doesn’t work well everywhere. : (

  3. ledrakenoir on July 5, 2016 at 10:22 am

    The best quote of Ovid, I believe is “The sharp thorn often produces delicate roses” – very well captured pics which tells the inspiring mood there… 🙂

  4. Stefania Bufano on July 5, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Reblogged this on Make Italy Yours.

  5. […] Pacentro is quite close to the impressive town of Sulmona (you can see my earlier post about Sulmona here). […]

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