San Valentino Day in Rome and chocolate…
Rome is known as the Eternal City because of the belief that no matter what happened to or in the city, Rome would continue to thrive. What better metaphor for love? And what a better gift than chocolate?
Italy has a long tradition of producing artisan chocolate. They say chocolate is the alchemy that makes people in love. Apart from being delicious, it makes for a very nice gift as it comes in a variety of colorful shapes and packages fit to be considered a true form of art. A typical Italian chocolate product is Gianduia, created in 1856 by Caffarel, the oldest Turin-based chocolatier, featuring a mix of hazelnut and chocolate. Famous brands, such as Caffarel, Perugina and Venchi, are always beautifully packaged and ideal for a gift; each of these names is a certain guarantee of high quality. Venchi, in business since 1878, draws on centuries-old Italian recipes using strictly selected ingredients typical to the Italian tradition, such as hazelnut and almond. Be it finely packaged chocolate bars or boxes with small pieces, they all make for a perfect gift and won’t disappoint.
Prices vary, depending on quality and weight, from €2 up to €20, with the possibility to create your own basket. If tourists want to buy freshly-made chocolate, there are many artisan shops in town, such as La Bottega del Cioccolato at 82 Via Leonina, where chocolate is made right on the premises. Among their products you can find typical Roman symbols, such as Colosseum, Pantheon and the Mouth of Truth. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 7.30pm. Sunday closed. Another beautiful shop is Cioccolata Artigianale at 27 Via San Francesco a Ripa in Trastevere, open Monday to Saturday from 10.30am-8pm. Open morning to night, Grezzo is a charming shop located in via Urbana, a cobblestoned street full of restaurants and cafes in the heart of Monti , The first shop of its kind in Europe, Grezzo follows principles of gourmet raw food: if ‘organic, fair-trade, and gluten free’ are part of your philosophy, this is the place to be! Embracing the evolution of the healthy sweet, all of their delicious cakes, pies, creams and cookies are made with high quality ingredients. Case and point: Grezzo’s goodies are guilt-free. The first and oldest chocolate shop in Rome, Moriondo e Gariglio, in via Pié di Marmo 21/22, just steps away from Pantheon is as historic as it is delicious. The handmade chocolates are made with the same recipes created in 1800’s and use all natural ingredients. The classic flavors include mint, pistachio, rum, raspberry, and marron glacés and they also have seasonal treats such as milk and dark chocolate Easter eggs in 13 different sizes. Chocolate lover or not- this historic shop is a must.
Passed down generations, SAID chocolate factory has been making handmade chocolates since 1923. With over 90 years of experience, they have perfected chocolate in every shape and size: from their revered hot chocolate to their decadent truffles. SAID is a great place to sit down and enjoy an afternoon dessert or have late night treat, but they don’t do just that! Open until late, they serve happy hour and also host live music events in a cozy yet modern atmosphere. The space creates an atmosphere where the artist and artisan meet: the original factory’s items are a reminder of artisanal traditions, and the modern décor preserves the delicious experience.
These stores close between June 5th and September 5th because temperatures get too high for chocolate at this time of year.
Lindt: This well-known chocolatier is conveniently located in the heart of Rome, in via del Corso, the main shopping mail, just steps away from the Spanish Steps. If you are looking for a variety of classic flavours, there’s just no going wrong with the Swiss chocolate that everybody loves. Gratify your taste buds with Lindt ice cream, or quench your craving with their hot chocolate on their beautiful patio outside.