experiences from the wedding rituals

Reliving the local marriage traditions

Città Sant’Angelo is one of the villages featuring the greatest number of wedding traditions in Abruzzo.

In the past, the wedding ceremony was an authentic family affair: both families of the bride and groom helped in planning the special day. Their point of view and decisions were highly relevant during the organization.

Thanks to our studies of the wedding rituals in Città Sant’Angelo, many peculiar traditions have been rediscovered. Come and witness first hand this special and one of a kind wedding experience!

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    The serenade

    Thanks to the help of the people from the village, you will experience a real wedding serenade.

    In the historic centre of Città Sant’Angelo, from one of the most beautiful balcony, the bride is hosted from the local family, while waiting for the groom and his friends. 

    Together with the local folk music group, traditional songs are sung.

    At the end of this love ritual, the bride receives a gift from her beloved. From now on, the evening turns into a real party, with typical dances, tasting local food and wines.

    The bride’s sweets, the ‘pizza doce’ and the wedding reception

    This traditional food workshop is extremely sweet and interesting!

    The aim is to prepare the traditional sweets served as dessert during the wedding reception: “spumini” (the typical meringue), “almond paste”  biscuits, “manucce” (biscuits filled with grape jam), “tatoni” (almond, walnut and choccolate biscuits) and “ferratelle” (crispy thin waffle typical from here).

    The wedding cake called ‘pizza doce’ (the traditional wedding cake from Abruzzo) was the only food prepared the day before the ceremony. Once ready, it was brought to the bride’s house for the wedding reception. The ‘Pizza Dolce’ is an alkermes and rum soaked sponge cake, filled with custard and chocolate cream, covered with white icing.

    The preparation of the wedding reception was organized by the chef of the village or the bride’s mother, helped by the family women and neighbours. Traditional dishes of the wedding reception were ‘mugnaia’ and ‘anellini alla pecorara’ pasta.

    This workshop is set in a house in the historic centre, thanks to help of the local food businesses such as bakeries, delicatessen and cultural associations.

    This experience can include also the preparation of lunch or dinner for all the guests, tasting typical products and the wedding liqueur: the rosolio.

    The dowry ( Dodda), la Some and the Departure

    A unique experience rooted in the traditions.

    An exhibition of a bride’s dowry will be set up in a bespoke, historical area: all the elements such as objects, fabrics, utensils of the couple’s life will be displayed according to the local tradition.

    The day before the wedding, the dowry was put in one or more chests. The groom had to bring the dowry (the so called ‘la Some) to the newlyweds’ house, by putting everything on a carriage adorned with bells, coloured ribbons and pulled by two oxen, also decorated with two white handkerchiefs (called ‘li fazzulitte bianche’), tied to their horns.

    The departure (“La partenza”) is an ancient wedding serenade that took place at the bride’s house. This event was set on the day of the dowry transfer from the bride’s to the groom’s house.

    It was a traditional ritual dedicated to the departure from the old life to the new one and it was the beginning of the wedding party for family, friends and neighbours.

    This experience is a full immersion in the local crafts’ activities, to witness first hand the originality of the symbols of marriage.

    With the help of the old inhabitants, the dowry and the departure experience will be re-enacted together with the tasting of the wedding reception dishes, local wines and products and the traditional wedding dances from Abruzzo.

    The bride’s gifts

    During the organization of the wedding, after the courtship and engagement, the bride used to receive the first precious gift: a pair of earrings (the traditional ‘Sciacquajje’) or a pendant (the famous ‘Presentosa’). The traditional jewels from can be purchased in the village jewelries.

    Local craftsmen and embroiderers will work to create unique and high-end gifts for the bride, from her friends and family. The local artisans will be available to enrich the bride’s dowry according to the local tradition : sheets and towels embroidered with the couples’ initials, wedding bends pillows, dress accessories. 

    This is the best experience to share with your beloved or with all your family and friends.

    The preparation of the bridal bed

    This is a touching experience for the bride and all the ladies.

    The bride’s friends are involved in the preparation of the bridal bed, helped by the old ladies from the village.

    The bride, her friends and all the ladies of the family, guided by traditional stories, will prepare the bridal bed, using the ancient symbols of prosperity and sacredness of the wedding ritual. The workshop will be set up in a room of the historic centre of the village and it will be an intense moment for the bride and her guests.

    At the end of the experience, the bride will receive a special gift: embroidered bed sheets, featuring the couple’s initials, used to prepare the bridal bed.

    The wedding parade

    On your wedding day, you will relive a great tradition from Abruzzo: “the wedding parade”.

    A festive parade following the route of the couple, from the bride and groom’s accommodation to the wedding location. The symbols of tradition, the wedding ornaments and lovel music will accompany the couple and their guests, with the help of the masters of ceremonies of the village, coordinating the event.

    A relevant moment that will link your day to the wedding tradition in Abruzzo forever.

    The wedding dances

    There are different dances characterising the wedding party, all of them featuring a specific purpouse.

    There are two kind of dances in our tradition: party dances and courtship dances, representing the intimacy between a man and his woman.

    One of the most popular is the ‘Love lace’ dance. This is a music love ritual, dated back to the prehistoric period. This dance is full of mimicry allusions, passionate glances and winks of the dancers, twirling around and weaving the coloured ribbons.

    The ‘Quadrille’ dance also plays an import role in the wedding tradition.

    Quadrille is the most known and widespread group dance in Italy, born here in Abruzzo. The couples dance together, crossing their hands, guided by a quadrille director who calls the different dancers using french names.

    This experience will allow the bride, groom and their guests to relive an important and goliardic moment of the traditional wedding, guided by expert musicians, dancers and officiants. With decorations, flowers and music, everyone will be involved in this one of a kind musical and dancing experience.

    At the end, all the guests can enjoy a buffet with typical Abruzzo sweets and liqueurs.

    The sugared almond Confetti tradition and the wedding favours

    Wedding confetti (i.e. plain almonds coated in a sugar candy) is an important italian tradition handed down through the centuries.

    In Abruzzo, this sweet tradition finds the highest expression of excellence (just think about the city of Sulmona).

    The color of confetti is white, indicating the purity of the bride, but each wedding anniversary features its own confetti colour. They are packed in special bags and they are offered as wedding favours to all the guests.

    There is usually an odd number of confetti and the minimum number recommended is 5, representing the gifts of life for the newlyweds: Health, Wealth, Happiness, Long life and Fertility.

    At the end of the wedding reception, the bride and groom used to greet all the guests, giving them confetti to remember the special day. They used to put them on the best family silver tray, using a spoon to offer the sweets to every family member.

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