Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Chocolate Festival in Italy in October? Really?

This article is a transcript of our podcast that can be found on our www.essenceofitaly.net Podcast page. Please note that this festival occurs in October of every year.

Yes, really! Imagine combining unlimited amounts of the world's most tantalizing chocolate with Italy, one of the world's finest vacation destinations...che bello!

From October 13-21st, 2007, the city of Perugia in Umbria (home of the Perugina chocolate dynasty) opens its arms to the world for its annual Chocolate Festival. The world's finest chocolatiers and the tourists who love them (that's us!) will be there to experience chocolate like never before. From scuplting to eating, from nightlife to spa treatments and children's activities, it's your own personal journey through the Chocolate Factory (apologies to Charlie and Willy Wonka). You can luxuriate in chocolate for the entire Festival, or stop in for just a day or two as you travel through Italy.

Here are just some of the Festival events:

On Sunday, October 14th, watch as five artisans carve blocks of chocolate into intricate scupltures. Be there to catch the chocolate pieces as they fly from the artist's tools!

Throughout the Festival, children under 12 can enjoy the Chocofarm. Here, they learn about the sourcing, making and enjoying of chocolate through special games and activities.

Wine and dine yourself silly as Perugia's restaurants create house specialites that highlight the Festival's theme. Be surprised and delighted as traditional dishes receive innovative twists of chocolate.

Nightlife throughout the Festival is truly unique. Perugia's nightclubs interweave chocolate confections along with their regular menu items. Music, dancing and strolling through the piazza will keep you busy until the wee hours.

After all this, you'll need some spa treatments, don't you think? Perugia's acclaimed Beauty Palace Spa will design a menu of treatments that allow the beauty of chocolate to penetrate and rejuvenate your skin. Cocoa butters and powders will enhance the treatments, leaving you relaxed and practically edible. Due to popular demand, it's recommended that you reserve your spa date before the Festival, but after September 1. You can contact them at info@beautypalace.it.

Along with the fun and frolic, the Chocolate Festival will highlight fair trade partners and developments in sustainable chocolate agriculture (chocgriculture? Sorry, I couldn't resist).

Check out the Festival's website at: www.eurochocolate.com and click on Eurochocolate, Perugia. However, since the site is not fully translated into English, you can contact me for more information by clicking on 'comments' below.

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