|Confetti as you never knew it...|
Through ingenious marketing the Sulmonese confetti barons have made gifts of their intricate sculptures de rigeur at christenings, confirmations and weddings throughout Catholic Europe.A 'confetti baron'! The phrase conjures quite a vision - a portly gent draped in confectionary? A smoke-filled room with senior businessmen clustered around a table full of...confetti?
|Sulmona's Roman aqueduct and the facade of San Francesco della Scarpa.|
|Garlic in the market in Piazza Garibaldi.|
|Ovid contemplates his birthplace.|
...the opening poem [in Book 2] tells of Ovid's abandonment of a Gigantomachy in favour of elegy. 2 and 3 are entreaties to a guardian to let the poet see Corinna, poem 6 is a lament for Corinna's dead parrot, 7 and 8 deal with Ovid's affair with Corinna's servant and her discovery of it, and 11 and 12 try to prevent Corinna from going on vacation. 13 a prayer to Isis for Corinna's illness, 14 a poem against abortion, and 19 a warning to unwary husbands. (source)I'm particularly drawn to the ode to a dead parrot (inspiration for Monty Python perhaps?) and will now need to seek out Ovid's poems in modern English. But meanwhile, I like to think that the small boy Ovid looked upon the same Roman aqueduct that still crosses Sulmona, and perhaps walked the same Corso Ovidio street that now bears his name. But I'm very sure that he never posed as a monk holding aloft a Christian Bible.
|Dazzling confetti displays...|
|...trying to out-do each other.|
The English word confetti (to denote Jordan almonds) is related to the Italian confectionery of the same name, which was a small sweet traditionally thrown during carnivals. Also known as dragée, Italian confetti are almonds with a hard sugar coating; their name can be translated from Italian to mean confit, as in confiture. The Italian word for paper confetti is coriandoli which refers to the coriander seeds originally contained within the sweet. By tradition, the Italian confetti (sugar coated almonds) are given out at weddings and baptisms (white coating), or graduations (red coating), often wrapped in a small tulle bag to give as a favour to the guests. For a wedding, they are said to represent the hope that the new couple will have a fertile marriage. The British adapted the missiles to weddings (displacing the traditional rice) at the end of the 19th century, using symbolic shreds of coloured paper rather than real sweets.
|Di Carlo & Figlio carries on the tradition.|
These days, thanks presumably to those 'confetti barons', confetti comes in wild and varied guises, and cellophane, ribbons, bows and wires are manipulated to produce fantastical concoctions of confetti.
Perhaps Ovid would have presented a bouquet to Corinna. To soothe her about the loss of her parrot.
|A basket of confetti.|
|Confetti under the aqueduct.|