Italy isn’t quite known for its chocolate in the same way that Switzerland or Belgium are, but the annual EuroChocolate Festival
in Perugia, Italy will make you rethink how well Italians know their chocolate!
Definitely more a local and regional event than a world-renowned tourist attraction, it was a great opportunity to practice Italian and ask locals for directions around the town to get to the chocolate festival, and I was able to order some of my chocolate purchases in Italian as well, making it a great local experience.
EuroChocolate offers a special Chococard for a few euros that will give you some free samples and select discounts of certain brands of chocolates and some local restaurants. Personally, I found it to not be worth it if you’re planning on buying tons of chocolate anyway, but it would be worth it if you needed a new pair of (chocolate-themed) headphones, since those came with the Chococard anyway.
The festival featured a lot of interesting experiential marketing campaigns from brands like Ricola and Fage, which I thought were really creative and it was interesting to see how certain marketing techniques are pervasive around the world and effective in all cultures, since everyone likes interactive experiences, whether a brand is attached or not.
But that’s all besides the main point: the chocolate! Check out the best of EuroChocolate and be sure to try these chocolate treats if you ever make it to Perugia during the festival season:
Not just hot chocolate, but actually straight-up melted chocolate. They give you a spoon to eat it with – it’s that thick and creamy that it might not even drip out of the cup on its own.
Chocolate vodka is one thing, but fine Italian chocolate liquor is another. The festival sells chocolate liquor hinted with various flavors like strawberry, banana, mint, and more, making these perfect gifts to bring back for family and friends. [pictured at the end of this post]
Yes, this is real, and yes, it tastes just as amazing as it sounds. These little balls of chocolate also come in varieties filled with rum, sambuca, and other liquors for an unexpected kick.
Chocolate Pizza and Chocolate Beer
This may have been the highlight of my time at the EuroChocolate Festival. Although chocolate dough with cheese and prosciutto might sound like an odd combination, trust me – it actually tastes so good and so unique that you’ll be glad you tried it while you’re here. Also, the stand that sells chocolate pizza also serves chocolate beer, which compliments the meal perfectly.
Tell me this isn’t the most beautiful picture of ravioli you’ve ever seen… and topped with strawberries and chocolate sauce, this chocolate ravioli tastes just as good as it looks.
Limited Edition Lindt
With flavors like amaretto, pistachio, gianduja, white chocolate cappuccino, mint, strawberries and cream, and walnut, the special Lindt booth at the EuroChocolate festival is worth a visit (and you get a free one with the ChocoCard!). [pictured at the end of this post]
Pictured below is my chocolate haul: including chocolate liquor, chocolate pasta, Lindt truffles, limoncello chocolates, ginger-filled chocolate, and Perugina chocolates, local to Perugia! (You can also take a tour of the Perugina chocolate factory during the weeks of the EuroChocolate festival)
The sweetest end to a sweet day at the EuroChocolate festival is the gorgeous sunset over the city of Perugia with the Tuscan countryside in the background.