08 – Sulmona (eng)

medieval acqueduct

Sulmona (Sulmo in Latin, Sulmonë in the local dialect) is a city in the province of L’Aquila with a population of 24,969. It has the third largest population in the province (after L’Aquila and Avezzano), and the ninth largest in Abruzzo.

Garibaldi square

Sulmona was an oppidum (a fortified settlement) when the area was ruled by the Peligni, and a municipium (a town with full rights) under the Romans. The Latin poet Ovid (Publio Ovidio Nasone) was born here in 43 B.C. From 1233 to 1273, the city, by order of Frederick II, was the capital and administrative centre of the Abruzzo district (giustizierato).

medieval acqueduct

The city was awarded a silver medal for the sacrifices made by its population and for its resistance efforts during World War II.

medieval acqueduct

It is located in the heart of Abruzzo, next to the Parco Nazionale della Majella, one of Abruzzo’s three national parks. It is famous worldwide for its centuries-old production of confetti, a delicious hard candy traditionally served at weddings and other celebrations.


Sulmona has five primary schools and four middle schools. It also has a scientific high school, a classical high school, two technical institutes, a teaching institute, and an art institute.

Annunziata church complex – facade and belltower

As well, it has a university campus where the University of L’Aquila offers courses in economics.

Annunziata church complex – facade


Monuments and attractions:

Annunziata church complex, cupola, belltower, and statue of Ovid
  • The cathedral of San Panfilo
  • the Annunziata church complex
  • The church of San Francesco della Scarpa
  • The church of Santa Maria della Tomba
  • The Morronese abbey
  • The hermitage of Sant’Onofrio, on Mount Morrone
  • The sanctuary of Ercole Curino
  • The church of San Filippo Neri
  • The church of San Domenico
  • The church of Santa Caterina
  • The church of San Giovanni Apostolo ed Evangelista
  • The church of Cristo Re
  • The church of Maria Santissima Ausiliatrice
  • The medieval (Swabian) aqueduct
Annunziata church complex – mullioned window
the church of San Francesco della Scarpa

The palaces, archways, museums and piazzas are also worth exploring.

the cathedral of San Panfilo – portal
the Morronese abbey
hermitage of Celestino


Celebrations and festivals:

Giostra cavalleresca
  • Good Friday: Procession with the dead Christ
  • Easter Sunday: Procession of the Madonna che scappa, or Madonna who “runs” (the Madonna “runs” to meet her son, the risen Christ).
  • July and August: various religious and secular festivals
  • Last weekend in July: the Giostra Cavalleresca, a medieval jousting tournament
  • Early August: the related Giostra Cavalleresca dei Borghi più Belli d’Italia and the Giostra Cavalleresca d’Europa
Madonna che scappa
Giostra cavalleresca
procession with the dead Christ
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