Perugia is two hours away by bus. It is located on the top of a mountain. I went to the chocolate festival in Perugia. There are many chocolate festivals but this one is the closest to Florence and it was only 38 euro for the transportation and a chococard. A chococard is a card that gives patrons discounts on merchandize and free samples. I decided to go on Satuday the 19 since my last midterm was Friday. It was going to be a great present for finishing midterms. I had planned on going on this trip in September when I booked my Oktoberfest trip. I booked my trips through bus2alps and if you booked two trips you could get a 5 % discount or three trips with a 7% discount. I might make another trip out of Florence with them. They are generally nice and helpful.
I arrive in Perugia the capital of Umbria, a region of Tuscany. When we arrive we wait in line to get on the mini metro to the chocolate festival. The festival is held on top of a mountain. I wait about an hour to get on the mini metro. There was a lot of people going to the chocolate festival on Saturday. We were ushered by security about 20-25 at a time to get on the mini metro. Before I get on the metro, a bus2alps representative hands out metro tickets to us. We need to use one ticket to get on and off the metro to the festival and one to get on and off the metro on our way back. Once on the mini metro we rode 30 minutes to the last stop. The mini metro was not very fast. The track had some dips but we were going so slow it didn’t feel so bad on my stomach. The track was reminiscent of a rollercoaster.
We arrive at the last stop and make our way to the festival. We have to go up three escalators and walk two sets of stair before we reach the front of the festival. Right as I am arriving I call my roommates. We were all going to see the festival together, so I wouldn’t have to be alone. When I called them they had already had there chocolate fix and were at the train station heading home. I was worried I would be all by myself. Luckily I met some great girls while waiting in line and on the mini metro and they let me hangout with them the whole time.
Now that I have become grouped we start to explore and fill our card with free samples. The booth directly in front of us is our first stop and our first free sample. We receive a large chocolate bar. The bar was from the company sponsoring the whole event so it is heavy and good tasting. Next we went and found the Ricola stand and got a chocolate Ricola and lemon Ricola lozenge. Then we were off and got hot chocolate 3 euro each, the cups were 4-5 inches tall and half was melted chocolate. They were hard to finish, I got a white chocolate hot chocolate and by the time I was getting to the bottom it had started to congeal and I couldn’t eat it anymore. We moved on to another free sample of hot chocolate this one was a little thicker and from a company called CioBar. I put that dark hot chocolate on top of my previous one. They made an even thicker chocolate mass, eventually I couldn’t eat it anymore. I had to throw it out.
Then it was time for some alcoholic chocolate beverages. We got a orange flavored chocolate liquor, then a plain dark chocolate liquor, then a new flavor of Baileys. They were all very tasty but I didn’t want to pay 16 euro for 250 ml of Baileys, I could probably find cheaper somewhere else. Next to the Baileys tent was a beer tent. The beer wasn’t chocolate flavored but still good it was a pint for 3 euro. It was a very refreshing taste after all the chocolate and it was 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside. It was light in color and flavor, there were two to choose from on tap, 4 or 7. I chose 7, when I was at the bar last night I saw the number 7 beer. I almost got it but I had to get some Guinness.
After the beer we went to find some food and happened upon only two booths for food, a pita bread filled sandwich or fried everything. I ordered patatine croquettes for 3 euro. They were the size of mozzarella sticks and they had mozzarella sticks too but it would take ten minutes and I was hungry now. I should have waited the croquettes weren’t my favorite. I had to cover them in ketchup to make them edible.
With our bellies filled with something other than chocolate, we went off souvenir shopping and getting our free sample from Lindt. A chocolate ball filled with caramel, very good. I was on the hunt for a souvenir when I happened up a very cute knick knack, it is a towel in the shape of a tort. I am giving it to one of my family members. It is so cute. By this time we have one hour left and needed to get a few more free samples to finish our card. We are frantically trying to find these last places and get souvenirs when we notice the last two places have crazy long lines and we wont make it. We decide to sit and relax by this time we have been standing / walking for almost 6 hours. We rest for only ten minutes and then we are off to find our way back to the bus. It is a process that lasts 1 hour. When we are finally in the parking lot, everyone takes a bathroom break, then we wait for the bus to arrive to go back to Florence.
On the ride back I sit next to a girl, Jen, from the group I was hanging out with and we talk for two hours. When we arrive back in Florence we are starved and grab some McDonalds before heading home to sleep. It had been a long day.