Dining on Ischia, A Gem of an Island off the Bay of Naples
July 25, 2014
Colle San Paolo in Umbria
January 28, 2014
Shopping in Amalfi
July 29, 2014
Family Chocolate Tour in Perugia, Italy
October 1, 2014
One of the highlights of our visit to Umbria was touring the Perugina Casa del Cioccolato located in the Baci by Perugina factory in Perugia, Italy. This is an extraordinary place on the outskirts of Perugia where visitors can discover all there is to know and love about chocolate.
Baci (the Italian word for kisses) is one of the most popular confection companies in the world. It was purchased by Nestle in 1987, but all the candy produced by Baci is still created only in their Perugia factory, which makes a visit to this factory a unique and memorable experience.
The world famous Bacio candy was created in 1922 and, according to legend, introduced on Valentine's Day. Nearly 100 years later there are several different items in the Baci family, but the original Bacio has remained the same - A heart of gianduia (a blend of milk chocolate and ground hazelnuts), dotted with chopped hazelnuts, crowned with a whole hazelnut, covered in dark chocolate, and embraced with a love note in Italian, English, Spanish, French, and German. Among my favorite quotes was “Love can hope where reason would despair” (L’amore sa sperare quando la ragione gia dispera) - Learn more about their products here.
During the summer the factory has limited hours and only a partial tour of the factory is available because the production of the chocolate decreases during due to the heat, and their staff is reduced. This limits the tour to 1.5 hours, which is in any case plenty of time for this activity. Our family still got to see some of the factory, view two movies, and participate in a chocolate tasting (which is really the most important part anyway!). Another benefit to going during the summer is that because of the limited tour the entrance fee is reduced from 9 euro to 5 euro for adults and only 3 euro for kids (under age 5 are free). A great value for a family activity.
Getting there: We were coming from Colle San Paolo located in Panicale in Umbria and were told by someone staying at our agriturismo that if we just followed the signs to Perugia it was right off the road and easily accessible. As with most driving and directions in Italy, it was not easily found. When we approached Perugia we began looking for it, but could not find it. I was trying to access the address in Google maps on my iPhone, but typical of countryside wi-fi connections in Italy it was spotty therefore not really helping. We ended up driving through Perugia then turned around going back the way we came. After going through a roundabout twice we finally saw it on the right-hand side. There is a large parking lot and you must drive through a gate that is manned by a factory employee.
Once you park go directly into the front door and you will see the ticket counter on the left. The factory recommends calling ahead for reservations, especially if you want the tour in English, which is scheduled at 4pm each day. However, we were there at the end of June and decided to go last minute as were able to get in without a reservation for a family of five.
Address: NESTLE' ITALIANA S.p.A., Viale San Sisto, 06132, Ioc. San Sisto, PERUGIA ITALY. The Casa del Cioccolato (museum and chocolate school) is located inside the Nestle Perugina Factory.
Telephone Number: 39 0245467655
Open year round, Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 1 PM and from 2 PM to 5.30 PM; Open on Saturdays except during January, February, June, and September.
One hour museum tour includes a taste of the most popular chocolates.
Visitors can see production in the factory (according to production schedule - limited production during the summer months).
General Admission: 9 Euro (reduced to 5 euro during summer months)
Reduced Admission available for senior citizens over age 65, children ages 5-17 and groups of 10 or more
Free Admission for children under age 5.
Location: a short taxi ride from downtown Perugia
Reservations may be made 15 days in advance.
CNN named the Casa del Cioccolato one of the top five destinations for chocolate lovers and The New York Times listed Casa del Cioccolato a must see for anyone visiting Perugia. We completely agree! This is a place that young and old will enjoy visiting. After all, who doesn't love chocolate?
Side Note: As a general rule in Italy, it is advisable to confirm all information before you go because there may be a holiday you are unaware of or tour schedules, times, and dates may change.