Every year around this time, mid October, I get vaguely annoyed. First of all it gets cold and wet for the first time after months of wonderful weather. It’s still beautiful all around, but one needs to get used to the sweaters.
Then, like every October in the last 10 years, Eurochocolate comes to Perugia and so the traffic and a million chocolate wrappers.
Eurochocolate is a large chocolate festival, sponsored by the big chocolate brands. It brings more than 100 thousand visitors to our small provincial capital. The locals lock themselves up for 2 week-ends. There is not point in getting squashed when one can buy (most of) the same stuff in the supermarket.
It’s better to visit during the week if one wants to get any close to the stands.
Those who love crowds can go in the weekend to see the making of the chocolate sculptures in Perugia’s main street Corso Vannucci. Large blocks of chocolate are carved by energetic artists and all the trimmings are given out for free to the onlookers (video).
Altrocioccolato, held in Gubbio is the cozy, fair-trade, green alternative to the monster kermesse. There’s lots of organic stuff, hand knitted socks, good music and free theatre for the kids. It’s even possible to find parking space. Really, it is very friendly.
As for myself, if I need special chocolate, I can get it year around, I have friends. I go to Barbara in Santa Maria degli Angeli* or to Elena in Palazzo** where I can find a variety of artisan chocolate at reasonable prices. I like to support small companies. I like to get suggestions and a bite to taste in peace, no queuing up required.
I am grateful to someone who makes the effort to trace good genuine products, possibly from another small company, and hands it with a smile. They know I’ll be back tomorrow.*Terra Umbra. Via Patrono d’Italia 10, Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi **Pasta fresca e non solo, 43, Viale Michelangelo Palazzo di Assisi