After the hot, hot summer, at least here in Spain, it’s time to make travel plans for fall and winter. Much as I like to be in, on and by the sea, from time to time I crave a totally different landscape. Dense woods, hills, even mountains have their attraction too and fall is the appropriate time to indulge in a change of scenery.
Having explored a good part of northern Spain, such as Galicia and Navarra, my attention is now focused on Italy. Add to this a festival which appeals to my sweet tooth, and the destination of choice is Perugia in Umbria.
Located at approx. 200km north of Rome, the city, founded by the Etruscans, spreads out on and along a high hill, overlooking valleys and the Tiber. The old town of Perugia has fame as a picture book perfect example of a medieval Italian village whereas remains of older periods of history can also be found.
If that doesn’t sound romantic enough, there is the chocolate festival from 16th to 25th of October, also known as Eurochocolate. Perugia has a long tradition of chocolate making, the company Perugina and their specialty, baci (kisses) being world famous.
A background like this lends itself to a festival which attracts chocolatiers from all over the world, who showcase their art in workshops, sell their products in countless stalls and entertain up to 1 mill (!) visitors, who can all acquire the symbol of the festival: a chocolate moustache.
Moreover, huge chocolate sculptures will be on display. So, this is a great reason for heading towards Umbria, combining Perugia with maybe trips to Florence and Assisi. And a secret tip for Perugia: there are underground passages which can be explored with a tour, always an enticing mystery.