Brief History of Italian Macaroons also known as Amaretti*
Early records indicate they originated in Venice during the late Renaissance period (mid 17th century) and was the creation of Francesco Moriondo, pastry chef at the court of Savoy. Amaretti biscuits have been a part of Italian patisserie for hundreds of years.
The Lazzaroni family have been making amaretti biscuits since 1719, and are custodians of an amaretti archive, housed in the cloisters of a 14th-century Franciscan church in Saronno, Lombardy, which contains biscuit tins dating from the 1870s.
* thank you to Robins and Sons for their excellent post on The Amaretti Biscuit