Chocolate Festival - Perugia's Eurochoc
Choc choc everywhere
It's October again and that means only one thing, between the 16th and 25th, it is chocolate time. Every year in Perugia, Umbrias' capital, for two weeks the city opens it's doors to the worlds "Chocoholics" and around a million take up the offer. The whole of the ancient town centre becomes a Mecca to the dark, sweet, delight, with market stalls all along the Corso Vannucci, around Piazza IV Novembre, Piazza Republicca and into the Carducci Gardens.
There are samples from all around the world and Italy's great names will be there too, Baci, Nero, Perugino and Ritter. The streets will be awash with chocolate. You can play chocolate chess, watch chocolate sculptors at work, see the famous Perugino chocolatiers demonstrate their art or listen to seminars about chocolate. This years topics include the health benefits of chocolate to women and chocolates effects on skin conditions.
There will be over 200 companies who set up stands in Perugia during October, not just the large international corporations, although they are present but also the small local producers, the cottage industries. Each with their own distinctive flavours, designs and products giving visitors an real insight into the true variety of chocolate available. Many of the shops and stores around Perugia enter into the spirit as well with beautifully thought out displays to complement the theme. Chocolate clothes, shoes, bags, flowers, all feature in the windows around the town.This year you can even social network and make friends with their own Facebook page "Faceciok".
Eurochoc has been a feature on Umbrians festival calendar since 1973 and each year grows ever more popular. The logo for 2009 features a hammer and tape measure with the slogan "Rompere le righe" meaning break ranks. The idea being that chocolate should be enjoyed and not constrained, open yourself up to the invigorating spirit of chocolate.
There are many events aimed at raising awareness and having fun, Chocoday forms a part of the festivities, where Patisseries and Chocolatiers throughout Italy open their doors and put on demonstrations for the public. Sport as well takes its part, with a rugby tournament and a judo exhibition. There are cooking classes for the kids, a live TV cooking show "Padella" comes from Perugia. There is also an exhibition of furniture design work that takes chocolate as its inspiration.
Whether you like yours with 90% cocoa, or as hot drink. wrapped in a bar or shaped like a spanner. There are diet and diabetic chocolates, doggy treats for your pets, chocolate ice cream to cool the Latin temperament or chili chocs to warm the northern Europeans. However you take your dose of the sweet stuff you can guarantee there will be something to tempt you on offer in Perugia this month.
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