Letters from Italy

Letter “C” :: Did you say “Confetti”?


The word confetti /kənˈfetiː/ is synonym for celebration. But don’t get confused with those tiny colourful paper shreds that are thrown at parties. Confetti (plural noun, – singular is confetto – the word comes from the Latin conficěre, meaning “prepared”) are almonds covered with a crisp sugar coating. They are offered at great events, such as weddings, christenings and graduations.

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A colour code must be strictly followed: white confetti for weddings, pale blue or pink for christenings, red for graduations. Wedding is the most common circumstance when they are offered (and tasted) and they must always be presented to guests, relatives and friends in odd numbers (usually five or more), a sign of good omen for the newly-wed, since odd numbers cannot be equally divided. Confetti are so strictly linked to nuptials that the sentence “quando mangiamo i confetti?” (when are we going to have confetti?) is a not-so-subtle understated hint to: “when are you going to get married?”

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In the past the opportunity to savour confetti was confined to these major landmarks in life, but nowadays confetti – whether you are planning to start a family, christen a baby, get a degree or not – are a treat that anyone can enjoy anytime. No need to wait for big events! By the way: the Italian word for “confetti” is “coriandoli” /koˈrjandoli/

“Confetti” or “Confetti”? Either way, make a wish and get the party started!

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