Il Cioccolato da Energie !
This morning at our neighborhood cafe I was greeted with pomp and sobriety by an elegant older woman dressed all in red. Announcing, in all seriousness, “Il Cioccolato da Energie !” (“The Chocolate Gives Energy”) she handed me a plump handmade chocolate. I was informed that this week was La Settimana del Cioccolato, and that she hoped I would consider purchasing truffles to celebrate the Week of the Chocolate.
As I enjoyed my truffle, I considered all of the chocolate shops and confectioners that we and Insider’s Italy clients call favorites.
Bassano del Grappa’s Dolce Bassano is one of the best with lovely chocolates (40 types) and excellent cocoa (six varieties.) The owners, Maria and Sabrina, make use exclusively of premium chocolate from Venezuela, Ghana, Ecuador and Java. I considered Rome’s Quetzalcoatl, another favorite, run by a brother and sister. There are 92 types of homemade chocolate here, and best to my mind are the classic truffles.
My children’s first choice, however, has an irresistible window display of homemade candies (pictured here). It is on the Amalfi Coast and is run by a young couple, Tiziano and Mafalda, originally both from Puglia. Their tiny, beautifully arranged jewelry box of a shop is full of delicacies including truffles, chocolate ganache squares, ice creams and the most marvelous pastries. Mafalda is responsible for the elegant packaging of every item that leaves the premises. Most remarkably, Tiziano offers several courses to Insider’s Italy clients in the art of making pastries, ice creams, chocolates and confections.
Please let us share with you all of these special favorites. In your next Travel Plan we will include them, reviewed in substantial detail — including information on particular chocolates and confections to try — for each of your destinations. Buona Settimana del Cioccolato !