Italian Candies Names & Brands Guide

A Sweet Guide To The Best Italian Candy With Names & Brands List

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Did you know that if you translate ‘candy’ to Italian, you get ‘caramella’? Interestingly, this sweet translation doesn’t include chocolates. Don’t worry, though! If you’re craving chocolate delights, I’ve got you covered with a separate article titled – Italian Chocolate Guide + Best Chocolate Brands.

In this article, I’ll be sharing the most popular Italian candies names and brands, along with insights into how Italians enjoy them. So, get ready for a sugary journey—it’s about to get sweet!



How To Say Candy in Italian

The Italian translation of candies is caramelle (plural). One candy is caramella.

To refer to caramella, you’ll likely need to use either the definite, indefinite, or partitive articles, depending on the context. Here’s how.

La caramella – the candy
Le caramelle – the candies
Una caramella – a candy
Delle caramelle – some candies

Here’s how to pronounce candy in Italian.

Italian candy pronunciation



Do Italians Eat A Lot Of Candies?

If you compare them with other candy-heavy eating countries like the US and the UK, then not, Italians do not eat a lot of candies.

Having said that, Il Sole 24 ore reported that over 750 million euros are spent yearly on candies, and that’s a lot. But when you consider that Americans spend over $12 billion for just Halloween candy, the difference is clear.



How Italians Eat Candies

Before I start giving you the best Italian candies names and brands, it’s good for you to understand how Italians eat candies.

Italians enjoy their sweets, but candy plays a different role in the culture compared to countries notorious for high candy consumption like the United States and the United Kingdom. 

On average, Italians eat about 3 pounds of candy per person annually (according to data collected by Unione Italiana Food), while Americans eat over 8 pounds.


Italian Candies Data
Italian Candies Data


Though Italians may indulge in the occasional treat, candy is viewed more moderately than in some other Western cultures. This balanced approach is evident in Italians’ annual candy spending, as seen above. 

Italians gravitate more toward artisan, high-quality candies, particularly as adults. Mass-produced candy bars and sweets are seen as kids’ fare, but even that doesn’t mean Italian kids overeat them. They don’t because Italian parents carefully guide their children’s eating habits from a young age.

Additionally, Italians are likely to end their meals or snacks in the afternoon on a biscuit, pastry, or piece of chocolate, as opposed to candy.

When they do indulge in the latter, just one to three pieces hit the sweet spot; Italians rarely plow through an entire candy bag in one sitting.



I am dividing Italian candies into 10 main types, see the list below. Let’s discover what each is and which brands to buy.

  1. Mentine
  2. Gommose
  3. Caramelle Dure
  4. Gelee 
  5. Caramelle Mou
  6. Pastiglie
  7. Caramelle Morbide
  8. Liquorizia
  9. Torrone
  10. Confetti


Mentine (Mints)

Popular thin, round mints infused with fresh peppermint, spearmint, or eucalyptus oils. Italian mints provide a brisk burst of flavor and cooling sensation; that’s why they are Italians’ favorites when it comes to freshening their breath.

Their small size makes them easy to enjoy after meals, before a meeting, or a romantic encounter. Forty percent of Italians also purchase them to soothe a sore throat.


Top brands

Golia, Spelari’s Galatine, and Pastiglie Leone have crafted Italian mints for generations, and more precisely since the 1800s.

Golia mints Italian candies
Popular Italian Mints Brand


Gommose (Gummy Candies)

Chewy, fruit-flavored gummies in every shape and color. Though children adore their bright hues and playful forms, adults enjoy them too – the gummies’ sweetness makes for a nice post-meal treat or pick-me-up when needing an energy boost. Black licorice and aniseed flavors give a signature Italian twist, but citrus and berry flavors are equally loved.


Top brands

Morositas, Dietorelle, and Goleador offer a large selection of gummy candies, ranging from fruity citrus and berry flavors to licorice and eucalyptus ones. These brands have been producing sweets since the 1970s, hence why Italians are so attached to them.


Caramelle Dure & Lecca Lecca (Hard Candies & Lollipops)

Caramelle Dure are classic Italian hard candies known for their enduring sweetness and vibrant flavors. These candies often come individually wrapped, making them perfect for on-the-go enjoyment. This is why Italians purchase these and pop them in their bags, pockets, or glass jars for a quick treat. Others also consume them to freshen their breath.

Lecca Lecca, or lollipops, are a delightful variation of hard candies in a fun, portable form, offering a long-lasting burst of flavor on a stick. These are particularly enjoyed by Italian kids. 

Lollipops in Italy
When I was a little kid myself, lollipops were distributed and sold as treats in schools. Nowadays, with the conscious effort to foster healthy eating from a young age, this is no longer a thing. However, parents and grandparents still purchase them in bulk to occasionally hand them to their little ones as a special treat, after doing homework or at the weekend.


Top Brands

Rossana red-wrapped candies are among the most iconic Italian hard candies with a nutty flavor. If you were to take a peek into an Italian’s grandma bag, or candy jar, you would find them there along with other favorites such as Sperlari citrus wedges, Ambrosoli balsamic candies, and my childhood favorite Alpenliebe.


Gelee (Sugar Covered Candies)

Gelee candies are small, sugar-coated treats with a chewy interior. They come in a variety of fruity flavors, offering a delightful combination of sweetness and tanginess with every bite. Their colorful appearance and satisfying texture make them a popular choice among Italian candy enthusiasts of all ages.


Top Brands

Fruittella, Sperlari Gran Gelées, and Dufour Big Frut are the most popular sugar-coated candies in Italy.


Caramelle Mou (Toffee)

Caramelle Mou are soft and chewy toffees that melt in your mouth with each bite. Known for their creamy consistency and rich flavors, these candies often feature indulgent fillings like caramel, chocolate, or hazelnut, providing a luxurious treat for those with a sweet tooth.


Top Brands

Elah Toffee candies is the number one brand in Italy for this type of sweets.


Pastiglie (Pastilles)

Pastiglie are small, disc-shaped candies known for their intense flavors and refreshing qualities. These compact treats often come in a tin or a small box, making them convenient for carrying in purses or pockets. Pastiglie are cherished for their ability to provide a burst of flavor that lingers, offering a delightful pick-me-up throughout the day.

Pastiglie’s signature feature is a creamy, strong-flavored heart, which in the past often tasted medicinal, adding a unique and memorable element to these classic Italian candies. 


Top Brands

Selz Soda is one of the most iconic Italian brands of hard pastilles with a strong creamy filling.


Fondenti (Soft Fondant Candies)

Fondenti are indulgent Italian candies known for their smooth and creamy texture, reminiscent of toffee consistency. Typically made from a blend of sugar, butter, and flavorings such as vanilla or fruit extracts, Fondenti comes in a variety of shapes and colors. Loved for their rich, melt-in-your-mouth consistency and decadent flavors, Italians love to enjoy them as an occasional treat.


Top Brands

Fondenti Perugia have been the most popular in Italy since 1926. Other tasty Italian soft candy brands include Dufour and Fruittella, especially loved by kids.


Italian licorice

Liquorizia (Liquorice)

Liquorizia candies are made from licorice root extract, offering a distinctive flavor that is both sweet and slightly tangy. These candies come in various forms, including sticks, twists, or small bites, and are cherished for their unique taste and aromatic qualities.


Top Brands

Saila and Caramelle Pip are the top two Italian brands when it comes to licorice. 

PS: Did you know that Caramelle Pip is targeted at smokers?
Their full name is Caramelle Pip Del Fumatore, which translates to Caramelle Pip For The Smoker. However, their breath-refreshing properties can be enjoyed by nonsmokers too.


Torrone (Nougat)

Although I wouldn’t personally consider Torrone a candy but more of an Italian delicacy, Unione Italiana Food lists it as a candy, and that’s why I have included it in this list.

Torrone is a traditional Italian candy made from honey, sugar, egg whites, and toasted nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts. This sweet and chewy nougat is often enjoyed during special occasions and holidays, offering a delightful combination of crunchy nuts and sticky sweetness.

Torrone is certainly not the type of candy you will find in Italian bags and pockets. However, you will surely find it in Italian grandma’s candy jars in its smaller hand-wrapped format, which we call Torroncini.


Top Brands

Vergani, Pernigotti & Sperlari are among the most popular and widely available Italian nougat brands. You can find them in most supermarkets and candy shops, and they are likely to be also available online.


Confetti Italian candies

Confetti

Confetti are sugared almonds traditionally associated with celebrations and weddings in Italy. These candies feature almonds coated in a crisp sugar shell, providing a delightful crunch and a hint of sweetness. They often come with delicious creamy fillings ranging from more classic chocolate flavors to more modern fruity ones.

Confetti is often presented in elegant packaging and shared as favors for Italian weddings, child christening, holy communion, confirmation, anniversary parties, and even birthdays.


Top Brands

Di Sulmona, Buratti, and Crispo are iconic Italian confetti brands, especially chosen for memorable days like weddings and baptism parties.



The Best Italian Candies Brands & Most Loved By Italians

Below you will find a list of the most popular Italian candies brands. Feel free to screenshot it and take it with you to your local supermarket or use it as a reference when browsing for Italian candies online.

Best Italian Candies Brands

Note: While some articles may mention Ricola as an Italian brand, it’s important to clarify that Ricola is a Swiss brand, not Italian.



30 Italian Candies You Should Try

We’ve looked at the main types of candies Italians eat and love, as well as the most popular Italian candies brands in Italy and abroad. To make things easier and tastier for you, I’d like to give you a few suggestions on which brands and flavors to try. 

I could easily give you a list of 200 Italian candies to try but that’s too much. So let’s do 30 instead. This way, every time you come to Italy or are presented with a supermarket aisle full of Italian candies, you can pick two or three to try.


  1. Dufour Seltz Soda with Orange & Lemon Filling
  2. Sperlari Galatine Milk Original
  3. The Classic Alpenliebe Toffee
  4. The Classic Rossana Red Pack
  5. Fondenti Perugia Fruit Pack
  6. Dufour Big Frut Lemon, Blackberry, Strawberry, and Peach
  7. Alpenliebe Espresso Flavor
  8. Elah Mint & Licorice
  9. Elah Original Toffee Candy
  10. Morositas Assorted Fruit Flavor
  11. Rossana Assorted (Gran Selezione)
  12. Saila Confetti Jelly
  13. Saila Sugar Free With Stevia
  14. Leone Anise Pastilles
  15. Leone Tangerine
  16. Leone Lemon
  17. Leone Peppermint
  18. Leone Digestive Mix
  19. Alpenliebe Soft Toffee
  20. Sperlari Galatine Morbidose (Gummies)
  21. Golia Frutta C Hard Candy
  22. Golia Active Plus Mints
  23. Golia Bianca Mints
  24. Goleador Fruit Gummy Sticks
  25. Goleador Cola
  26. Dietorelle Soft/Gummy Strawberry Stick
  27. Dietorelle Gellies Mix Fruit
  28. Vergani Crunchy Nougat Almond
  29. Crispo Confetti Mix Patisserie
  30. Pernigotti Torroncini Assorted Nougat



Where To Buy Italian Candies

If you have stumbled upon this article, it’s likely you are craving some Italian candies and want to get your hands on them, either now or when you travel to Italy. Let me help you pinpoint the best options to find Italian candies on your next Italian holiday, or right now online and near you.


Where To Buy Italian Candies In Italy?

Next time you are in Italy, head to the nearest supermarket and go to the candy section. You will be surprised to find nearly all, if not all of the above, except for the confetti. Some supermarkets might sell an option or two, while others do not.

If you can’t find them there, you will need to head to candy specialty shops like ODStore. The latter has outlets in most Italian capitals, from Venice to Rome and Catania.


Where To Buy Italian Candies Online?

If you have never searched for these, you will be surprised to know that most of those Italian candy brands I just listed can be purchased on Amazon.com. The ones I couldn’t find there are the Pip, Dietorelle, Morositas, and a few of the nougat and confetti options.

Another great online place to look for these is the Bell’Italia Food Store, founded and run by Italian-American Laura.


Where To Buy Italian Candies in the US?

If you prefer shopping for Italian candies in person, I suggest you head to your local Walmart and browse the candies aisles. I found a selection of Sperlari, Golia, and Crispo while searching online.

The other option is to browse your local candy shop if you have one. It’s possible that along with your country’s candy selection, the shop might also carry international classics like Sperlari and Vergani from Italy.



Final Thoughts On Candies From Italy

As we’ve explored, Italy has a rich candy culture, though moderation remains key.

From the thin Mentine mints to soft, creamy Fondenti, decades-old candy companies infuse heritage flavors like lemon and anise. With quality ingredients and pride in taste, Italy produces candies as artfully as the rest of its cuisine.

So next time your sweet tooth calls, skip the generic candy bar. Indulge in a little Italian candy nostalgia.

Read these articles next:
Best Italian Chocolate Brands
Italian Food Glossary

FAQ

The most popular candy type in Italy is Mentine (mints), with 49% of Italians choosing them as their favorite.

What are the Italian candies called?

The Italian word for candy (or candies) is “caramelle”. One candy is “una caramella”.

What sweets are made in Italy?

Popular Italian sweets include mints (mentine), gummies (gommose), hard candies (caramelle dure), sugar-coated candies (gelee), toffees (caramelle mou), pastilles (pastiglie), soft fondant candies (fondenti), licorice (liquorizia), nougat (torrone), and sugar almonds (confetti).

What lollies are in Italy?

Lollipops are called “lecca-lecca” in Italian. Major brands for these are the Chupa Chups, funded in Spain but acquired by Italian company Perfetti Van Melle.

What is the candy capital of Italy?

There is not a specific candy capital in Italy, even though the largest candy companies are found in northern Italy, especially Milan and Turin.

Do Italians eat a lot of sweets?

No, compared to countries like the US, Italians eat fewer sweets on average. Candy is seen as an occasional treat rather than an everyday food.

What is the Italian confetti candy called?

The Italian word for the almond confetti candy is simply “confetti”. Major brands include Di Sulmona, Buratti and Crispo.

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