Panettone and Pandoro are both symbols of Christmas in Italy. Even though they may look similar, they have some differences.
Pandoro is a Christmascake that originated in Verona, the city of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, very close to Venice. The Italian chef Domenico Melegatti created Pandoro there, in the late 19th century. He decided to call it Pandoro ('golden bread') to evoke some ancient Venetian cakes, which were covered in a gold leaf for aristocrats. True to its name, the cake has a bright yellow colour, and is traditionally a star-shaped cake that is dusted with icing sugar.
Panettone is a Christmastime cake directly from Milan. This cake is more ancient than Pandoro: it was probably cooked for the first time in the 13th century, and there are many legends about its creation in the City Court of the time. The traditional Panettone is prepared with raisin, which is a tasty symbol of good luck and prosperity. And yet, this sweet, yeasty cake with a distinctive domed shape can also contain candied fruits, but it can also be filled with creams in its more modern versions.