What’s better than a chocolate festival if you’re a traveling chocoholic? A chocolate festival in Florence, that’s what. If you’re really into cacao, chances are you’ve heard of Italy’s most famous chocolate festival – EuroChocolate in Perugia – but Florence has its own annual chocolate festival, and since you’re likely to have Florence on your Italy itinerary already, it’s the perfect way to get your chocolate fix at the same time.
The Florence chocolate festival is called Fiera del Cioccolate Artigianale, and it takes place in the winter (otherwise, the chocolate would melt!). The dates change each year, so be sure to consult the official website to plan your trip accordingly, but you can typically expect the festival to be held in February. The festival began in 2004, and is usually held in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, which is conveniently right in the historic heart of the city. It lasts for a little over a week, during which chocolate makers give demonstrations on making, working with, and cooking with chocolate; and festival-goers have a chance to sample and buy a variety of chocolate treats.
Planning a trip? Take a Florence Gourmet Food Tour: Truffles, Chocolate, Gelato, Olive Oil and Wine
Visitors can take hands-on chocolate classes, watch masters at work, and learn proper chocolate tasting techniques (among other things), and there are even chocolate-related activities designed just for the kids – including a “chocolate hunt.” Don’t miss out on a particular cold weather treat in Italy – hot chocolate so thick you might need to eat it with a spoon.
February may not be your first choice when it comes to a visit to Florence, but remember – prices will be lower, crowds will be smaller, and there’s a chocolate festival to look forward to!