Friday, October 28, 2011

Indulge yourself at Perugia’s famous Eurochocolate festival

March 3, 2010 by Travel Guide  
Filed under Activities

Perugia’s Eurochocolate Festival, an annual event that is famous throughout the world, is the most popular chocolate festival in Europe. Chocolate is big business in Umbria and Italy, with annual sales of 350 million euros. Consumption has doubled over the past 10 years, rising from two to four kilos per year, per person – and is still growing!

Each year a new theme is developed, and commercial, educational and cultural activities are planned around the theme. For nine delightful days, Perugia in Umbria is transformed into a chocolate lovers dream – a fantastic occasion to discover and enjoy the highly celebrated Umbrian hospitality.

More than a million chocoholics visit this beautiful city each year, to sample chocolate delights from all over Europe. You can scramble with the locals for free trimmings as chocolate artists carve huge sculptures out of the massive metre-high blocks of dark chocolate placed around Piazza IV Novembre. Join special guided tours of the city, peruse the many exhibitions and live demonstrations, and enjoy the numerous and generous free tastings, when samples of chocolate from all over the world, including Vietnam, Cuba, Bolivia and Papua New Guinea, are handed out on special trowels.

If you enjoy shopping, the city’s charming promenades are filled with vendors – more than 700 booths offer an incredible array of goodies made with chocolate – pasta, salami, liquors, cheeses, desserts, drinks and a vast array of pastries, cakes and candies, and much more.

During the festival, Perugia also hosts numerous educational and cultural events – cooking classes, banquets, chocolate theatre, a chocolate cooking competition by top chefs, and finally the much-anticipated Eurochocolate Awards. The many seminars and talks will increase your knowledge about this delectable favourite and afterward you will have no doubt about chocolate’s distinct nutritional and dietary benefits.

You can also take part in informative and lively forums that highlight the production of cocoa as a sustainable industry for third world nations. The festival has a special area that features certified Fair Trade cocoa products, made from cocoa that was bought from Third World farmers at a fair price. This cocoa was produced with full respect for workers’ rights and grown in an environmentally friendly way. Most Italian artisan chocolate makers use cocoa with the Fair Trade certification.

If you need some exercise to work off all that overindulgence, there are excellent tennis courts in the city and plenty of places to walk and cycle. Around Perugia, you will see some of the region’s most innovative architecture – the Renaissance-era Rocca Paolina Fortress, the Priori Palace and beautiful churches such as the Duomo San Lorenzo and the Basilica of San Domenico. For the more adventurous, there is plenty of climbing, trekking, rafting, canoeing and kayaking in the hills nearby.

If you are more into relaxation, you will enjoy the aromatherapy sessions that utilise cocoa and chocolate facemasks. The Eurochocolate festival also showcases the latest in chocolate beauty treatments – and some are free. What a fantastic way to top off nine days of celebrating the ‘food of the gods’.

Perugia is Umbria’s capital city, known as the ‘green heart of Italy’, and the area, with its fascinating array of mediaeval towns and hilltop villages, is a popular tourist destination. The city is 175 km from Rome and 150 km from Florence and is easily accessed by road and train. Inexpensive flights are also available from Rome and Florence. You can hire a car at the airport and train station, but be sure to book well in advance as this is a very popular festival.


6 Responses to “Indulge yourself at Perugia’s famous Eurochocolate festival”
  1. Annmarie Kostyk says:

    I’m looking forward to this. I also wanted to go to the one in Turin, but couldn’t get a straight answer on the dates! Has anyone attended before?

  2. Tony del Balzo says:

    I have heard that Perugia is an unsafe city for work, study and tourism.
    I have heard that the Prosecutors, who are themselves convicted of Abuse of Power charges and sentenced to 16 months in prison, are still allowed to conduct prosecutions and gather evidence.
    I have heard that the defendants are sometimes beaten and if they complain, they are charged with slander.
    I have heard that it is common to hold an innocent person in jail for a full year without bringing charges.
    I have heard he the prison and jails have a high rate of HIV.
    I have heard that the use of psychological profiling is highly thought of in Italy and that police will hold a person for having a “negative personality” (what ever that is) for up to a year.
    I have heard that the year in jail does not count as time already served in case of a conviction.
    I have heard that a simple majority (4 of 8) of the jury is required, not a unanimous vote.
    I have heard that all convictions come with a vote of no confidence in that they are granted two automatic appeals. Further, over half of all appeals result in a change of sentence.
    I have heard that if the prosecutor does not get a drastic enough sentence, he can appeal for more time than the initial judge asked for.
    I have heard that the prison will confiscate diaries and letters of suspects and publish the incriminating parts outside of the trial.
    I have heard that jurors are not asked about bias, predisposition or prior knowledge about the case. You could end up having the victim’s brother on the jury and that is fine in Italy.
    I heard that a prisoner named Alto was beaten to death by the police in Perugia and it was ruled an accident.
    I have heard that if arrested, you will be interviewed and interrogated without benefit of a translator.

    In short, I have heard enough where I do not feel safe in Italy and will be going to France instead. Viva la France !

    • Donna Walz says:

      So in other words, if you behave yourself and stay out of trouble, you have nothing to worry about. I have been to Italy 4 times and I love it! It’s a wonderful place to visit.

    • chan says:


  3. Manisha Chopra says:

    chocolate festival – truly is a dream for chocolate lovers and that also for nine days. Delicious!

  4. susan taylor says:

    We go 4 times a year to a house near Perugia. We know many people there, none of whom have been arrested! We also know carabinieri, who have been fantastic to us and who complain about criminals being arrested and liberated by the courts. Just like England!So Tony please feel free to go to France. I shall be going back to Umbria

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