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Through December: Chocolate festivals in many countries

Love chocolate? Love travel? Combine both pleasures at Europe’s many chocolate-related fairs and events. The months leading up to Christmas see a number of them on the calendar, giving visitors a chance to stock up on holiday gifts for friends and family with a sweet tooth.

Here is a sampling of upcoming events:

Italy

The International Chocolate Exhibition runs through Oct. 28 in Perugia, Italy. More than 150 worldwide chocolate-related businesses will show their stuff in the old town of Umbria’s capital city. Entry is free. For more information, see www.eurochocolate.com/perugia2012.

France

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The Salon du Chocolat runs Oct. 31-Nov. 4 at the expo Port de Versailles in Paris. Meet chocolatiers and sample their wares, learn about cocoa-producing areas or check out a chocolate dress fashion show. Adult entry is 13 euros.

Another Salon du Chocolate premieres in Cannes Nov. 23-25 at the Palais des Festivals; adult entry is 9 euros. See www.salonduchocolat.fr.

Germany

Germany’s biggest chocolate festival, chocolART, is set for Dec. 4-9 in Tübingen. Meet some 100 chocolate specialists from around the world and watch live demos.

The Schoko-Markt takes place in the market square of the picturesque old town, and entry is free.

Find more information at www.chocolart.de.

England

London’s Chocolate Festival will take place at the Southbank Centre Dec. 7-9. Visitors can meet artisan chocolate producers, take part in free tutored tasting sessions and learn about the health benefits of raw chocolate. See www.festivalchocolate.co.uk for more information.

Another chocolate festival is set for Dec. 14-16 in Bristol (www.festivalchocolate.co.uk/festivals/bristol). Both events are free.

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