Tonight I am in Sulmona, the small city in the mountains of Abruzzo and the home of the Confetti. If you are Italian, have ever been to an Italian wedding, or are from the East Coast you probably know what confetti are. You usually get a half dozen bound in white netting as a gift to the guest. It is an old tradition and I don’t know if it still happens anymore, but I surely remember them from my youth. They are also called Jordan Almonds; a hard white sugar coating over a whole almond, occasionally not white, but never at weddings.
As I am cruising through Abruzzo a little quicker than I planned I learned that Sulmona is reachable by car, and since we have a wedding in the family coming up I really wanted to stop and purchase some authentic-as-it-gets Confetti. But that is not what this little post is about.
While I am sitting on my bed catching up because it is pouring rain outside, there is a shouting match going on somewhere fairly close. I am in the old city center, I mean old as in passed through an arch to get here. The housing is all apartments, 200 or 300 year old apartments. The original zero lot lines. With this configuration the shouting may be coming from 4 or 5 families away but it is likely not more than 150 feet, cause it is loud, and continuous, and primarily one woman doing all the shouting. After a good 5 minute tirade a male voice got a few vocals in, although loud enough to qualify as shouting, it lacked the energy and emotion of the female vocalist.
I compare this to last night’s shouting match at a lovely hotel in Chieti – another one night stand for this gal. The Nuovo is a really nice place, and quite full. Not a single English comment in the reviews so it has the panache of a real old Italian hotel, including the thin walls. Every bump, bang and train announcement was heard. Fortunately the trains quit about 10 PM, the shouting lasted a bit longer.
It started with a young, innocent looking fellow knocking softly on the door of someone named, Litta, or something like that. The knocking and the calling got louder, and more earnest, although frantic, as the minutes passed. Apparently, Litta was not answering and the knocker was expecting she would. I’m guessing a lovers quarrel, but I have no idea. It got quiet for a nano second and then the tirade began. It sounded like a legendary berating. I have no idea what language was being spoken, they were not Italians. I left for dinner and there was a actual tribe of people puddled in the doorway of the room with someone shouting. Men, women, babies, the knocker, perhaps Litta, who knows, but it was not a convivial meeting. The alpha male was strident and articulate – and long-winded. He was thrashing someone when I left, and was still at it when I returned. During my dinner downstairs I saw a young women leave with child in tow. Around 10 pm it all stopped.
The night before that I was in Lecce in a small B&B and yet again there was the shouting and hollering and long diatribes. Then, around 10 pm, it got quiet.
I do not know the social norms of Italy but I am beginning to think that people need to let off steam and it’s all good until 10.