September and October are great months for food festivals in Italy and here are just two to consider – both promise to be quite special.
The first is a wonderful food and drink festival, held in a medieval town in the heart of Tuscany. The second, the infamous European Chocolate Festival held in Perugia, and celebrating its 21st year.
A fabulous gastronomic fair held in Certaldo Alto in Tuscany (20th – 21st and 27th – 28th September), it features the region’s best traditional food and wine, of which there is a lot.
You’ll find the event located in the rolling Tuscan countryside in Certaldo Alto, a typical Tuscan town which is divided between its medieval walled town on a hill and the modern residential and industrial suburb spread out below. The charming medieval upper town, reached on foot in ten minutes or by cable car from the station in the main piazza, is built almost entirely of brick, and is well preserved despite some damage during the Second World War. All the principal buildings, as well as some attractive houses, face onto Via Boccaccio.
Boccaccesca offers wine tastings with food pairings led by professional sommeliers, rows upon row of stands operated by local merchants selling high-quality local food and wine product, talks by Italian food specialists, cooking competitions, demonstrations, music, dancing, theatre performances and even medieval re-enactments. It really is a wonderful and typical Tuscan event.
Where to stay? Il Torrino Apartments in Montaione are seven properties sleeping from two to eight people, housed in a wonderful stone-clad building dating back to 1400. They are perfectly positioned on one of the rolling hills in the super Tuscan countryside with Florence, Pisa, San Gimignano and Siena all within easy reach
The International Chocolate Exhibition
Also known as the Eurochocolate Festival it’s held in Perugia (70km from Siena) from 17th – 26th October.
Celebrating its 21st year, this fair is simply heaven for all lovers of chocolate, professionals in the field and importers. The streets of Perugia fill with upwards of one million visitors seeking to indulge in everything chocolate.
Guided tours, massive chocolate sculptures, and exhibitions showcase the history of the city’s candy commerce, while plenty of free tastings and shopping booths keep guests happy. This year’s theme is Masterchoc.
Where to stay? Hotel Santa Maria degli Ancillotti provides a good place to relax and unwind in classic Italian countryside, yet still within a few kilometres from the sights of Umbria – Assisi, Perugia, Todi, Spoleto and Gubbio. With just eight rooms, a lush garden offering plenty of private corners to relax, a pool and hydro-massage tub and a fantastic restaurant – this hotel offers guests everything.