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Italy: A sweetly intense trip to Umbria's chocolate heaven

July 06, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Chocolate is the theme for an October tour of the Italian state of Umbria.
Chocolate is the theme for an October tour of the Italian state of Umbria. (Shutterstock )

The key to this tour of Italy is chocolate — specifically a sweets summit that takes place every year in October. Online travel specialist Zicasso offers a tour that coincides with the Eurochocolate Festival that this year will take place in Perugia.

On this trip, you'll taste chocolate, learn to cook with chocolate and could even decide to indulge in chocolate spa scrub.

The eight-day tour includes a two-day festival pass for tastings, special events and a visit to the Perugina factory where Baci chocolates are made. All this is set against the hills, vineyards and olive groves of Umbria.

The gourmet grub doesn't end there: There's truffle hunting with experts and their dogs in Citerna and a cooking class at Antonelli Winery Estate in Montefalco as well as guided tours to Orvieto, Assisi, Gubbio and Perugia.

One note: San Francisco-based Zicasso isn't the outfitter for this trip. You describe the dates and trip you want based on their chocolate itinerary and they match you with travel companies that will take you there. When you see a price you like, you select a tour and set up dates.

Date: Trips leave on customized dates in October (during the Oct. 19-28 chocolate festival).

Price: Starting about $2,500 per person, double occupancy. It includes hotel, daily breakfast, some meals, Eurochocolate Festival pass and factory visit, food experiences (truffle hunting, cooking class, etc.), a spa package, walking tour with guides and more. International airfare is extra.

Info: Zicasso

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