Ten thoughts you will have while walking through Florence’s Chocolate Festival

By Rachel Bimonte (Roger Williams University)

I do not know about other visitors of Florence this week but I do know I was in awe of the chocolate festival. I not only think that food is personally pleasing but it brings communities together as well.

Every time I walked by, rain or shine, night or day, the tents were always packed with chocolate-craving Florentines or visitors of Florence.

Love was in the air this week and I am not just talking about Valentine’s Day (although, it was the perfect week for chocolate to be gracing the Florence air). However I am talking about the love of chocolate by so many.

Maybe it is because I am not from Florence, but I have never seen an entire week dedicated to one small food group, it was amazing to see.

If you did not get a chance to stop by and smell the cocoa aroma, here are ten thoughts you may have had from start to finish when walking through the festival:

Thought one: Hmm…why is Florence smelling a little extra sweet today and less like diesel?

Thought two: Maybe I’ll just walk over to Piazza Santa Maria Novella and see what is going on…hmm, what are those big white tents that say ‘Fiera del Cioccolato’?

Thought three: Okay, I have 30 minutes or so, let me just start at the beginning of these tents and just see what’s going on, it’s not like I have to buy anything.

Thought four: Well I just got handed a free sample of chocolate – I have definitely found the grown up Disney World of Europe for sure.

Thought five: That sample of solid dark chocolate with nuts in it was really good, I will actually have to circle back around and buy a chunk of that goodness.

Thought six: Oh! Its noon and I still haven’t had breakfast. A chocolate covered waffle is considered breakfast…right? Yeah it is, and hey, if I get a cup of strawberries with chocolate filled in between and whipped cream on top, that can be my fruit for the day, right?

Though seven: As I am walking through these tents I’ve seen chocolate in more forms than I thought was possible. From solid squares, to balls, to hand crafted tools and violins to even owls and liquid chocolate. Who knew? I must try them all.

Thought eight: Wow, look at all of those people just walking by and starring. Why don’t they come in? Maybe they are resisting the urge. Well too bad, more for me…I am already on my fifth purchase, it is not expensive though. That’s dangerous.

Thought nine: Maybe I’ll be like everyone else and Snapchat and Instagram every piece of chocolate I am going to consume, after all, this only happens once a year so might as well make everyone else jealous while I am at it.

Thought ten: Wow, I can’t wait till next year when the chocolate festival is back. Not only do you get free samples, the chance to buy chocolate and eat it while walking, you can also buy chocolate in bulk and travel back home with it. I also loved to see so many tourists and Florentines in the same place, bonding over something so fun. How ‘sweet’!

If anyone got the chance to experience Fiera del Cioccolato this past week then you may have experienced the same thoughts I had. If you did not get to, there is always next year.

Dolce lover or not, this was a mouthwatering cultural experience you will want to experience at least one time in your life.

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