What is Eurochocolate?
The most delicious festival in all of Europe was started in 1994 with the idea of imitating Oktoberfest- but this time with chocolate! This amazing festival was started by Eugenia Guarducci. Set in the rich village of Perugia, capital of Umbria, the town transforms into an open-air international chocolate extravaganza during October.
Why YOU Should Go to Eurochocolate
Because of the CHOCOLATE!!! Even I- a more of a sugary-sour candy kind of girl-still had an amazing time and ate so much deliciousness at Eurochocolate. I don't even eat chocolate ice-cream, chocolate cake, or chocolate milkshakes (pretty much anything chocolate flavored), but still managed to come home with a loot of chocolate (that I am still working on) for free!
To get the most out of your day purchase a Choco- Card, which generally only cost about €6-€7. This allows you access to 5 or 6 different tastings when you present your card. Different tasting tents can include Ciobar hot chocolate, a Lindt Truffle, chocolate tea, and more! Each year the Choco-Card also gives you a free gadget, this year in 2016 it was a selfie stick since the theme of the festival is all about sharing chocolate socially, using the hashtag #ConChi? (with who?). In previous years the themes have included "City of Chocolate", "Chokolate Revolution", and "MustaChoc".
Regardless of the festival (though it makes the trip to Perugia so much more yummy), Perugia is a beautiful place to visit. Quaint side streets along with beautiful doors and romantic archways on the antique buildings are set atop a hill will a stunning panoramic of the surrounding region.
The city was named after famous painter Pietro Vannucci, nicknamed Perugino. He was the teacher of famous renaissance painter Raphael, who produced several of his paintings
Another interesting fact? The town name may sound familiar to you, as it is where Amanda Knox studied and live during her time abroad.
What to Expect
During the festival, every main street in the historic center of Perugia is lined with tents selling chocolates, giving out free samples of chocolate, selling chocolate goods, and more-usually to do with chocolate. Don't forget to check out the Choco Kebab stand! The streets teem with hundreds of people trying to get their free chocolate with their Choco-Card. Not only are there chocolate vendors, but men and women selling jewelry, fried corn-on-the-cob, roasted chestnuts, scarves, head wraps and more.
Though Eurochocolate is the largest chocolate festival in Europe, there is minimal foreign tourism. Most of the people visiting the festival are students or Italians. Basic knowledge of Italian will help when communicating with vendors and while dining in restaraunts, as most of the locals don't speak English on a regular basis.
How to get there
During the chocolate festival Perugia experiences a lot more traffic than it is accustomed to. Plan ahead and book train tickets, and if you are staying the night, hostels/ Air BnBs in advance as well, especially during a weekend.
Booking a train you need to go to Perugia Centrale, the main train station which is below the town. At the station you then need to purchase a €1 get on a bus to take you to Piazza Italia (the last bus stop), and then get on the tram (another ticket) which will take you to just below the town center, where it is a short walk to where all of your chocolate dreams will come true.
Want to travel to Eurochocolate stress free? There are several companies out of Florence and Rome that can take you to Eurochocolate and deal with all of the booking and transportation for you.