An October 2004 trip
to Perugia by Danch Factor
Quote: Back when Rome was somewhere in between an outpost and a shanty town, Perugia was a fully fortified and thriving Etruscan city. As impressive as this may be, what's really at issue here is its annual chocolate festival. This is worth writing about.
Despite old-world Italian charm, what really singles Perugia out is its annual chocolate festival (www.eurochocolate.com). Entire promenades filled with vendors, live demonstrations, and chocolate artists carving 4x4 solid blocks of dark chocolate into Venus de Milos while hundreds of diabetes-bound Italians graze like cattle. Perugia also holds an international seminar determined to justify chocolate as a cultural and economic necessity. For instance, there are forums discussing various strategies that highlight chocolate as a source of solidarity, biodiversity, and as a sustainable industry for third world nations.
Nevertheless, I want to instead focus upon the entirely selfish and gluttonous aspect of this festival. That said, around Piazza IV Novembre is the best place to be. As briefly mentioned above, this is where serious quantities of chocolate are carved into sculpture. Furthermore, the artists, who use everything from hatchets to jackhammers to carve their creations, give ALL the scrapings to the crowd for free. Not surprisingly, fights break out, ambulances crawl through the crowd in search of the weak, and general chaos takes center stage. I believe that the combination of free and chocolate brings out a special side of people. The basic spectrum of this behavior ranges from adults pushing kids out of the way to teenagers screaming like the Beatles just landed. I was scared, but as always, my girlfriend persevered, went into battle, and even came out victorious and physically unscathed. We ate and ate and ate. I recommend this whole experience to anyone.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 15, 2005