Those with a passion for chocolate will find Florence, Italy, a delicious detour in the week to come, as the city’s annual Fiera del Cioccolato Artigianale, or Artisan Chocolate Fair, brings the creations of dozens of chocolatiers to the city’s picturesque Piazza Santa Maria Novella.
Top chocolate producers from throughout Italy will offer plenty of sweet stuff to try and buy. Lectures and workshops on the program are conducted in Italian. Running simultaneously this year is a new, smaller-scale fair highlighting coffee, tea and fruit or herb-infused drinks. The chance to smell, taste and learn more about the preparation of such beverages is offered at Piazza Strozzi.
The chocolate fair runs through Feb. 21. It’s open daily at 10 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 p.m. weekends. (An exception is Feb. 15, when it closes at 8 p.m.) Admission is free. Piazza Santa Maria Novella is just 50 meters from the city’s main train station. Learn more at fieradelcioccolato.it (Italian only).
Feb. 17 could prove a particularly lively day in Florence, as it’s also the date of the sporting match known as the Calcio Storico Fiorentino, best described as a medieval brand of football. The re-enactment recalls a match that took place on this day in 1530, during the siege of Florence by Emperor Carlo V.
Festivities will start with a historical parade departing from Palagio di Parte Guelfa at 2 p.m., followed by a performance by flag wavers at 3 p.m. and the match at 3:45 p.m. at Piazza Santa Croce. Entry is free. Find details at http://tinyurl.com/jt2meeh.