Perugia’s Chocolate Factory: When we visited Italy over October half term we discovered that we were not far from a well known chocolate factory in Perugia. We decided to make a visit thinking that it would be a good option to keep the kids entertained. The factory is located on a busy ring road in the centre of the city. We did had trouble finding it even with google.
I think this is was partly because it looks like an industrial factory unit with the words Nestle on all the signs. Not the Casa del Cioccolato Perugina which is what the museum element of the tour is called. Parking was difficult again I think this is because it is a working factory and despite spaces meant to be reserved for visitors there weren’t any. In the end we ended up squeezing the car at the end of a row in true Italian style! Once inside we did get lucky though. We hadn’t realised that you needed to book a tour to go round the museum and the factory. What’s more not all the tours are in English (not that I expected them to be). So when the lady at reception said she had an English tour starting in five minutes and there was space for us we were very grateful.
The first part of the tour is a fifteen minute video about how the factory came about and the development of the chocolate Baci. Which is the most famous chocolate in Italy and can only be purchased there. We were joined at that point by a group of American Ladies who had been taking a chocolatier class. The factory is the only place in Europe where you can take a class like this without having prior experience.
Once the video has finished you move upstairs to the museum. The guide talked us through the small number of exhibits. Explaining how chocolate is made and the process still mused today in the factory. As well as the different brands which now form part of Nestle. It was very interesting hearing how they have developed different things for different markets. A lot of the focus is on the Baci because it is such a big brand name and the first product produced. The chocolate is a hazelnut and chocolate mixture, with a whole hazelnut on top and then coated in chocolate. They now make several different varieties which we had the chance to taste. Each chocolate has a little love message inside written in four different languages.
After the museum we moved upstairs to the tasting area. We tried the famous Baci in all four flavours. Plus different strength chocolate bars and some specific to certain countries. There was even some special varieties put out specifically for the children. The boys had a great time trying out all the flavours. Although Kipper was not a fan of the Baci he did like the chocolate with the hole.
The last part of Perugia’s Chocolate Factory tour was my favourite. However we were not allowed to take any photos in the factory itself. Partly because the workers did not want to have their pictures taken and partly because of industrial secrets. Inside the factory they have suspended an enclosed walk way which allows you to look down on all the different areas and machines. It was really interesting watching the chocolates being made, covered in foil and then stored in huge vats. Although I do think that the boys enjoyed watching the Easter eggs being made the most. It was the first week of production and the folk machine was not working as it should.
All in all the tour of Perugia’s Chocolate Factory took a good hour and half finishing in the gift shop. It was really interesting and held the boys attention for most of the time. Especially walking around the factory itself. Kipper was not keen on the museum element but then at three I am not surprised. Entrance and tasting cost 9€ for an adult and 7€ for a child over the age of 5. I think we probably ate more than that in chocolate. Definitely a must if you are in the area, although ring ahead and book onto a tour.
After the factory we decided to go into Perugia for a look around. If you decide to do the same then it is worth catching the minimetro into the centre. You can pick it up from the stadium which is about 3 miles away from the factory. It’s a lot cheaper than having to park in the city and an experience the boys absolutely loved.
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