Perugia is one of the most beautiful art cities in Italy but it’s also famous in the world for being the main place of the most loved food in the world, chocolate, the food of the gods.
The opportunity to visit Perugia was one of the most important Italian events dedicated to chocolate, Eurochocolate, at its XXIV edition in 2017 (October 13-22). I remember visiting it for the first time back in 1999 when Eurochocolate was little more than a small fair with some stands along Corso Vannucci, the most important street in the city.
Eurochocolate is today a completely different event, full of stands and exhibitors from all over Italy, to the delight of chocolate lovers, that is practically everyone. There are the stands of the most famous brands of chocolate, that is those that we find on the shelves of supermarkets, but also those more craft that sell chocolate in all its forms: dark and white, classic or flavored with fruit or spices. In short, there is something for everyone. Of course, when you come back home you have to digest what you ate, but the sacrifice deserves.
How to arrive
Once in Perugia you need to leave the car in one of the many parking located in the lower part of the city. Then you take a shuttle bus that takes you a few euros to Piazza Italia, right next to Corso Vannucci, the place of the event but also the most important place in the city. Even those arriving by train you have to take a bus, considering that the train station is located a couple of kilometers from the center. Of course you can also walk uphill along the climbs of the city and hoping to cross one of the many escalators, very comfortable to go up to the historic center.
Once in the center you are greeted by a scent of chocolate that permeates the entire city. At the beginning he took a bit of discomfort, thinking about how to resist all that goodness. Then at the end you make a decision: don’t resist and throw yourself headlong from one stand to another. It is possible, facing a fairly long queue, to buy the “choco card” that, with only 6 euros, allows you to take ten tastes of various delicacies in the various stands present in the event.
However, even the most greedy person, being in Perugia, cannot fail to visit this beautiful city that is essentially based on Corso Vannucci (photo 1), a street that takes its name from the most important artist of this city, Pietro Vannucci, known as “Perugino”.
From Piazza Italia to the Cathedral of Saint Lawrence is a succession of beautiful historic buildings, Palazzo Baldeschi, often home to exhibitions, the sixteenth-century Palazzo Donini, the Prefecture (photo 2) but especially the “Nobile Collegio del Cambio”, with the beautiful Hall of Audiences frescoed by Perugino.
At the end of Corso Vannucci there is the beautiful and spectacular Piazza IV Novembre, decorated by the wonderful Fountain and the Priory Palace, in Gothic style (photo 3).
The Square is characterized by the Cathedral of Saint Lawrence (photo 4), a sort of theatrical backdrop that serves as a backdrop to Corso Vannucci.
The interior of the Cathedral, particularly majestic, presents – in a dedicated Chapel – the precious relic of the nuptial ring of the Virgin Mary (photo 5), exhibited every year on the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Ring (29/30 July) and 12 September, a date reminiscent of the arrival of the Relic in Perugia, in 1473.
In the evening, along the Cathedral’s stairway, hundreds of young people from all over the world gather at the University of Foreigners, the pride of the city. From the top of the staircase you can enjoy the view of the beautiful square.
Behind the Square, taking Via Ignazio Danti, you reach the Etruscan Arch (photo 6), right next to the University of Foreigners; the Etruscan Arch is one of the ancient Etruscan doors of the city and today marks a bit the border of the historical center.
Now we have to wait for the next edition of Eurochocolate, already scheduled for 12-21 October 2018 (click here for the official website, only in italian).