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The homeland of Ovid and sugared almonds. A city for all seasons (of life)


18 maggio 2023

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4 min

  • Città d’arte
  • Comuni d’Abruzzo
Sulmona, Piazza Ovidio, Ph. F. Garofalo


Descrizione lunga

Did you know that in the past Sulmona was long known as the "Siena of the Abruzzi"? 
Thanks to its monumental heritage of churches and palaces built in various styles by skilled craftsmen and refined local artisans, the Peligna village in the Maiella National Park, in the province of L'Aquila, is still, more than ever, a small art capital, where you can spend an enchanting stay, pampered by the history and the widespread beauty of the area. 

Get acquainted right away with its most famous citizen, the poet Ovid, who was born here in the first century B.C., handing down the image of the Abruzzi center over the millennia with his "Sulmo mihi patria est, gelidis uberrimus undis" (very rich in fresh waters). 
His rare traces, unravel through the town, with a 15th century head, perhaps belonging to the sculpture that Polidoro Tiberti, captain of the town, had made. A 15th century stone statue in the Palace of the SS. Annunziata, which also preserves a carved figure of him in the string-course frame; and another early 20th century bronze by the artist Ettore Ferrari, arranged in Piazza XX Settembre.
You can trace the splendors of the Roman "Sulmo" in some sites such as the Domus of Ariadne, from the 1st centuries B.C.-II A.D. and the Sanctuary of Hercules Curino, 4th century A.D.-II A.D. at the foot of Mount Morrone.

But to get a complete picture of the territory's older history, you must visit the Annunziata Civic Museum Complex, which like all museums is the city's calling card.
However, if you only have one day to spare, devote yourself to the most outstanding monuments, such as the Cathedral of San Panfilo, the Annunziata complex and the grand portal of the church of San Francesco della Scarpa, which show you among wide squares, alleys, ancient walls, fountains and religious buildings of various eras.
Also definitely worth a visit is the Abbey of Santo Spirito al Morrone, also known as the Morronese or Celestinian Abbey, which stands in the Badia hamlet of the same name, about 5 km from the centre. From here starts the Sentiero dello Spirito (Path of the Spirit) a trek of more than 70 km, that touches all the Celestinian hermitages of Morrone and Maiella.

A majestic monument, telling of the time when the monk Pietro Angeleri (future Pope Celestine V), chose Sulmona as the home and headquarters of the new religious order of the Celestinians, building on Mount Morrone the abbey and, higher up, the small hermitage of Sant'Onofrio
Before lunch or dinner, immerse yourself in shopping on Corso Ovidio, in which artisan stores overlook each other with windows adorned with sugared almonds, a famous local tradition in vogue as early as the 1300s, as some documents attest.

If you want to learn more, visit the Museum of Confectionery Art and Technology, where among various machines, you can see a reconstruction of an 18th century workshop with ancient tools such as mortars and multiple strainers for sugar syrup. 
In addition to sugared almonds, bring home a gold bijou, another masterpiece of Sulmona, which in the Middle Ages was home to an important school of goldsmithing and still tries to keep up the tradition.
At the table you will find a zero-kilometre gastronomy, with the products of the fertile Peligna valley, already appreciated by Pliny, as among the red garlic of Sulmona, with its vinous red color and intense flavor.
Along with maccheroni alla chitarra topped with lamb sauce, try sagne e fagioli and sheep meat arrosticini. Among desserts, in addition to sugared almonds, find a cascade of delicacies, such as nougats, ferratelle, cassata sulmonese, almonds, and mosto cotto.
If you decide to spend several days in Sulmona, visit the Park's information point in the centre, which will give you valuable instructions on the various routes along the territory, to discover on foot, by car or by bike.
Enjoy your time.

What else to see:
The Aqueduct
Palazzo Sanità
Porta Romana
The church of the Annunziata
The church of Santa Maria della Tomba
The diocesan civic cultural pole of S. Chiara
The Vecchio Fountain
The Giostra cavalleresca


  • Alla scoperta delle città d’arte
  • Città d'Arte
  • Comuni
  • Urban trekking

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42.048023301699, 13.92607995

Last updated

11/09/2023, 09:39

Published by AbruzzoTurismo